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At the Rink: Flames at Kings

by Curtis Zupke /

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings will get a much-needed piece of their defense back when defenseman Robyn Regehr returns from an upper-body injury Monday against the Calgary Flames at Staples Center.

Regehr took line rushes with defenseman Alec Martinez and said he is ready to return after a 12-game absence from what was believed to be a hand injury.

"It's been four-and-a-half weeks," Regehr said. "It's always exciting to get back in the lineup and play against a former team too."

Regehr was cleared last week but needed extra days to regain strength and test it out with contact.

"A lot of is strength, because I had to be immobilized in a cast for a while, in a splint, so it was just working on getting strength back as much as I could, and also mobility too," he said. "When you immobilize something for a little while it stiffens up and it wasn't moving quite the way the way it needed to."

The Kings need Regehr to bolster a defense that has allowed 22 non-shootout goals in the first six games of a seven-game homestand in which they are 1-2-3. The Kings' penalty-killing unit is 10-for-17 the past six games.

"I think his leadership is critical, and we talked last week [about] the work ethic that he brings and that day-to-day professionalism," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.

Sutter is trying to manage through the latest injury/illness crisis for the Kings, who have lost left wings Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli and goalie Martin Jones. The three are roommates and Sutter joked when asked about the house being cursed.

"They just took two or three days off so they could take care of it," he said.

Sutter tweaked his lines with left wing Kyle Clifford skating with rookie center Nick Shore and right wing Jeff Carter. Shore made his NHL debut Saturday and will apparently miss playing against his older brother, Flames center Drew Shore, who is expected to be a healthy scratch.

Nick Shore said Sunday that his parents, David and Sarah, will be in attendance. Nick played with Drew at the University of Denver but hasn't seen him play lately.

"Sometimes I catch his games," Nick said. "We have some similarities. We see the game the same way. I think he plays a little more north-south than I do. But [it's] same sort of thing. I think he likes being good, responsible in all three ends. Start there and hopefully the offense comes."

Calgary is 3-0-0 on its five-game Pacific Division trip and 7-3-0 in its past 10 games. The Flames return to Staples Center for the first time since they erased a 3-0 deficit and beat the Kings 4-3 on Mark Giordano's overtime goal Dec. 22. Calgary has won three straight at Staples Center.

The Flames placed left wing Curtis Glencross on injured reserve and activated center Josh Jooris, although Jooris is not expected to play, according to the Calgary Herald.

Here are the projected lineups:


Johnny GaudreauMikael BacklundJiri Hudler

Lance BoumaSean MonahanDavid Jones

Mason RaymondMarkus GranlundJoe Colborne

Brandon BolligMatt StajanPaul Byron

Mark GiordanoTJ Brodie

Kris RussellDennis Wideman

Ladislav SmidDeryk Engelland

Joni Ortio

Jonas Hiller

Scratched: Drew Shore, Raphael Diaz, Josh Jooris

Injured: Karri Ramo (upper body), Curtis Glencross (lower body)


Marian GaborikAnze KopitarJustin Williams

Kyle CliffordNick ShoreJeff Carter

Dustin BrownJarret StollTrevor Lewis

Dwight KingMike RichardsJordan Nolan

Jake MuzzinDrew Doughty

Robyn RegehrAlec Martinez

Brayden McNabbMatt Greene

Jonathan Quick

Jean-Francois Berube

Scratched: Jeff Schultz, Jamie McBain, Andy Andreoff

Suspended: Slava Voynov

Injured: Tyler Toffoli (mononucleosis), Tanner Pearson (leg), Martin Jones (back)

Status report: Ortio is expected to start. He's 3-0-0 with a .953 save percentage since his Jan. 8 recall. … Andreoff took turns on the second and fourth lines and came off the ice at the same time as the regulars. … The Kings placed Jones on injured reserve with back spasms to clear a roster spot for Regehr.

Who's hot: Monahan scored his third overtime goal this season Saturday and fourth of his career, tying him for third in franchise history with Valeri Bure. Backlund has a five-game point streak. Kopitar has nine points in the past six games and 22 points in the past 14. Gaborik is on a four-game point streak and has 17 points in 14 games.

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