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Scuderi set for first game back with Kings

Veteran defenseman expected to be in lineup against Sabres after trade

by Curtis Zupke / Correspondent

SABRES (25-30-7) at KINGS (36-20-4) 

TV: 11 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-W, NHL.TV 

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Defenseman Rob Scuderi is expected to be in the lineup when the Los Angeles Kings play the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center on Saturday.

Scuderi, 37, was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Christian Ehrhoff on Friday. He took line rushes at the Kings' practice facility after he flew in from Cleveland, where he learned of the trade while with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.


"I was definitely the happiest guy in Cleveland," Scuderi said.

A part of the Kings' 2012 Stanley Cup championship team, Scuderi rejoins Los Angeles after a whirlwind season in which he went from the Pittsburgh Penguins to Chicago to playing in the AHL. He was given the corner stall in the Kings' locker room, previously reserved for veteran defensemen Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr.

"It's pretty special for me," Scuderi said. "It's been kind of a long 10 weeks since my first trade out of Pittsburgh and getting bumped around a little bit. It's nice to come back to some familiar faces in a familiar environment where I had some success, and I'd like to have some more."

How much Scuderi can help the Kings' defense is unknown, but he knows their system.

"He wants to play and we'll see how he fits in," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "He's a good role player. He's easy to slide in because there's still 14, 15 guys that he knows and he's played with. It's easy to come back in when you're comfortable with your teammates."

Scuderi's off-ice intangibles also add to an already strong leadership group.

"Last quarter of the season, experience is important," Sutter said. "Experience of winning is important."

Kings goalie Jhonas Enroth was off the ice first and will likely play against his former team. It will be his first start since Feb. 18. He was in goal for an overtime loss to the Sabres on Dec. 12.

Goalie Robin Lehner will start for the Sabres, who defeated the San Jose Sharks, 3-1, on Friday behind 24 saves by goalie Chad Johnson. Buffalo has allowed one goal or none in five of its past six games.

Los Angeles has won three straight games by a score of 2-1. The Kings have scored eight goals in the past six games.

Here are the projected lineups:

Jamie McGinn - Jack Eichel - Zemgus Girgensons
Evander Kane - Sam Reinhart - Justin Bailey
Marcus Foligno - Johan Larsson - Brian Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers - David Legwand - Matt Moulson

Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe - Zach Bogosian
Carlo Colaiacovo - Mark Pysyk

Robin Lehner
Chad Johnson

Injured: Ryan O'Reilly (lower body), Cody Franson (neck), Tyler Ennis (upper body), Cody McCormick (blood clot)
Scratched: Cal O'Reilly

Milan Lucic - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Dwight King - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli
Tanner Pearson - Vincent Lecavalier - Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford - Nick Shore - Andy Andreoff

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez - Luke Schenn
Brayden McNabb - Rob Scuderi

Jhonas Enroth
Jonathan Quick

Injured: Marian Gaborik (knee), Matt Greene (shoulder)
Scratched: Jordan Nolan, Michael Mersch, Jamie McBain

Status report: Mersch and McBain stayed out as extras. … Nolan did not skate after Sutter said Nolan received treatment Thursday.

Who's hot: Bogosian has three goals and two assists in his past three games. … Toffoli had his ninth multi-point game of the season Thursday.


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