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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
The Kings will conclude a three-game road trip (0-2-0) today at Columbus.

Morning Skate

Head coach Terry Murray indicated today that Kings defenseman Tom Preissing will return to the Los Angeles lineup tonight vs. Columbus.

The 30-year old defenseman has not played since Dec. 2 at Phoenix, a span of nine games, as Peter Harrold has taken over Preissing’s spot in the lineup.

Murray, however, has not indicated who he will replace as the possibility looms that Harrold could return to forward, a position he has played a handful of times here, making a John Zeiler or a Teddy Purcell/Trevor Lewis a healthy scratch tonight or Preissing could play as a seventh defenseman/power play specialist.

Preissing has tallied 3-4=7 on the year, 2-3=5 of which have come on the power play. We should have a better idea at warm ups.

In addition, the Kings will be switching up the defensive pairings, with Kyle Quincey and Matt Greene skating together and Drew Doughty and Sean O’Donnell together.

“I have played well with Greener before the last few games, in the past, so I am looking forward to getting back on the right track,” Quincey said.

That leaves Peter Harrold, Preissing and Denis Gauthier for the last defensive pairing.

Check out Tommy Nast hosting Face Wash, the Kings new post game talk show on the road tonight, immediately following the Kings/Blue Jackets. Click here to listen live.

Did you miss the debut? Check it out here.

Derek Armstrong, who did not travel with the Kings and has not played since Dec. 9 due to concussion symptoms, skated at Toyota Sports Center with Nelson Emerson.

A timetable for his return is still not available.

Armstrong has tallied 1-1=2 in 18 games, with his lone goal a game winner vs. Chicago on Nov. 29.

Jonathan Quick will make his second straight start tonight, after making 30 saves in a loss at Detroit.

Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford has been traveling with the team and has been working with Quick.

“From a compete standpoint, from composure, I thought he did a solid job for us [vs. Detroit],” Ranford said.

Erik Ersberg who injured a groin on Dec. 15 vs. San Jose and was expected to miss 2-4 weeks, has been progressing well and may be available for one of the Kings games vs. Phoenix on Dec. 26 and 27 or on Dec. 29 vs. Columbus, the Kings last game of 2008.

“I think the plan is to hopefully have him back just after to Christmas,” Ranford said. “I don’t know if it will be the first game, but if we can get some practices in right after the break and as long as he doesn’t tweak it and go backwards, there will be a good chance he will be available right after Christmas.”

Ersberg is 8-5-2 on the season with a 2.38 GAA and a .903 SV%. All other Kings goaltenders have combined to post a 5-9-4 mark with a 2.96 GAA and a .890 SV%.

Jeff Zatkoff had his first career shutout at Las Vegas, stopping all 35 shots on Dec. 15, a 1-0 win over the Wranglers. Zatkoff was recalled by the Manchester Monarchs in the AHL after Quick joined the Kings, leaving zero Kings prospects on the ECHL’s Reign roster currently. In addition, the Fresno Falcons, in operation for 21 years, folded on Monday canceling their season and the Reign’s schedule contest vs. the Falcons on Dec. 28. more reign notes

Notebook compiled by Mike Kalinowski, Cody Leist and

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