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Kings' Carcillo finally feeling like himself

by Curtis Zupke /

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Daniel Carcillo admitted he hadn't had the most productive seasons before his arrival in Los Angeles this summer. He was limited to 23 games last season because of an injured right knee and 28 games in 2011-12 because of season-ending knee surgery.

But Carcillo has rebounded with the Kings, specifically on the second line with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in a reprise from the trio's days with the Philadelphia Flyers. He will play his third game in that spot Monday when the Kings host the Calgary Flames.

"The last few years my game hasn't really been up to par and I know that," Carcillo said. "That's from a bunch of different factors, injuries and such. I really focused this summer on getting back down to my normal weight and getting more comfortable with my body after a couple of surgeries. I think it's all coming together again and I feel good again. It's encouraging, but not being in the lineup lights a fire under your butt."

Carcillo was a healthy scratch the first two games of the season and it didn't look like he would have a role. The Kings need to get faster, and Carcillo doesn't really bring an element of speed. But coach Darryl Sutter is perpetually searching to find left wing productivity and Carcillo is a better choice than Matt Frattin at this point. Frattin alternated with Jordan Nolan at right wing on the fourth line at the morning skate, but it's likely the lineup stays the same.

"He's played a few minutes, given us energy, given us good discipline," Sutter said.

Colin Fraser got back in the lineup after he was scratched for five games. Sutter had experimented on the fourth line to find more balance but he inserted Fraser back in last Saturday and liked his game.

Was Fraser itching to get back in?

"Are you kidding me?" Fraser said. "Everybody wants to play. But it's the reality of being a fourth-line guy; you're kind of always on the bubble. To be honest, I felt like I even played pretty well but sometimes it's how the team goes. They're not going to sit [Dustin Brown] or [Jarret Stoll]. It's the reality of it. You have to play good when you get your chance."

Here is the Kings' expected lineup:

Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams

Daniel Carcillo - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter

Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford - Colin Fraser - Jordan Nolan

Robyn Regehr - Drew Doughty

Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov

Matt Greene - Jake Muzzin

Jonathan Quick

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Keaton Ellerby, Matt Frattin, Alec Martinez

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