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Kings' Greene doing whatever he can to support team

by Curtis Zupke

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene is an alternate captain and is known as one of the team's toughest players, a stubborn penalty killer and a big body.

But the Kings haven't had any room in the lineup for him lately, and the veteran understands.

"You always want to play," Greene said. "You always want to play and be out there. Right now we're winning games and you can't complain about that."

Greene has been a healthy scratch in 14 of the past 15 games as defenseman Alec Martinez has ably filled a spot on the third defense pairing. It wasn't certain if Greene would play Monday against the Minnesota Wild (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN); there were no extra skaters at the morning skate. Greene's next game will be the 500th of his career.

However, it seems unlikely the Kings would alter the lineup in the midst of a six-game winning streak and a stretch of 14 wins in 17 games.

It's been a somewhat lost two seasons for Greene, who missed all but five games last season because of a back injury and this season has missed 21 games because of injuries in November, December and January. It's fair to wonder if these are the last days in Los Angeles for the impending free agent.

But Greene reiterated that he knows the situation.

"I think I'm doing everything I can off the ice, on the ice [to get back in the lineup]," he said. "These guys are playing well right now. We're having a lot of success and they're playing good and that's it. So right now it's not my time. It's my time to be a good teammate and just cheer the guys on."

Also questionable for Monday is forward Dwight King, who did not take part in practice. Jordan Nolan skated in King's spot on the third line.

The Wild were expected to go with Ilya Bryzgalov in goal. In 26 career games against the Kings, he is 14-7-4 with a 2.32 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and two shutouts.

Here is how the lineups for each team could look Monday:


Charlie Coyle - Mikko Koivu - Zach Parise

Jason Pominville - Mikael Granlund - Matt Moulson

Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Justin Fontaine

Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Stephane Veilleux

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Nate Prosser

Jonathon Blum - Marco Scandella

Ilya Bryzgalov

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Dany Heatley, Mike Rupp, Cody McCormick

Injured: Keith Ballard (lower body), Clayton Stoner (lower body), Jason Zucker (knee), Josh Harding (illness), Niklas Backstrom (lower body)


Marian Gaborik - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams

Tanner Pearson - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Jordan Nolan - Jarret Stoll - Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford - Mike Richards - Trevor Lewis

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Robyn Regehr - Slava Voynov

Willie Mitchell - Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Scratched: Matt Greene, Dwight King

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