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Smyth Could Miss A Month

by Rich Hammond / Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Smyth will miss up to a month with an upper body injury.

Ryan Smyth, a major contributor to the Kings' surprising success in the first six weeks of this season, is expected to be out of action for approximately one month.

Terry Murray 

Smyth, who left after the second period of Monday's game at Florida, visited a team doctor Wednesday morning. Coach Terry Murray and general manager Dean Lombardi would not disclose the nature of Smyth's "upper-body injury."

"It could be up to four weeks with that," Murray said. "It's very unfortunate that you lose a player that's an important player for your team, that's going to be out up to that length of time. But you know, you take a look around the league, there's all kinds of injuries to top players. You've got to deal with it. It's part of the game."

Smyth has nine goals and 14 assists in 22 games, and his hard-charging style has been credited with elevating the play of center Anze Kopitar, the NHL's leading scorer.

In Smyth's absence, Alexander Frolov will skate on the first line with the NHL's leading scorer, Kopitar, and right wing JustinWilliams in tonight's home game against Philadelphia. Teddy Purcell, a healthy scratch Monday, will take Frolov's place next to Michal Handzus and Wayne Simmonds.

Frolov, who had a high-profile one-game benching last month, led the Kings with 32 goals last season but is now tied for eighth on the team with four goals in 21 games.

"It's an opportunity for Fro right now," Murray said. "So take advantage of it. I hope he plays very well there. We've seen his play in the past with Kopitar. They've had good chemistry together, so hopefully it can come together right away."

Murray said the Kings would not immediately call up a player from Manchester, but injuries to Smyth and Rob Scuderi (lower body) leave the Kings without any healthy spare players. Lombardi is with Manchester this week, evaluating prospects.

Scuderi, who suffered his injury Saturday at Tampa Bay, remains day to day, Murray said.

Continue to the rest of Hammond's Notebook.

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