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With Greene sidelined, Kings turn to Ellerby

by Curtis Zupke

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings are already without captain Dustin Brown for their regular-season finale; now they will be without Matt Greene.

Greene has not skated with the team the past two days because of an undisclosed injury from Wednesday that is not related to his previous back surgery, coach Darryl Sutter said. Keaton Ellerby took Greene's place in the morning skate Saturday and will fill in when the Kings play a pivotal game against the San Jose Sharks.

Ellerby has talked about the Western Conference being more rugged and tight, and this certainly applies.

"The rivalry between L.A. and San Jose, the last game of the year to see where teams get seeded for the playoffs -- I'm not expecting anything less than an all-out war," Ellerby said. "It's exciting to be part of a game like that. I've just got to be able to rise to the occasion."

Ellerby has been a scratch the past four games. He briefly played with Jake Muzzin before Robyn Regehr arrived prior to the NHL Trade Deadline. Sutter said he likes Ellerby because he can play both sides.

"We need those same team minutes and we just need him to play the pace that we want him to," Sutter said.

Greene's injury is not long term, Sutter said. Sutter remained tight lipped about it and wouldn't say whether it's a lower- or upper-body injury.

"I'm not going to say nothing or I'm going to tell you the truth," Sutter said.

Kyle CliffordAnze KopitarJeff Carter

Dustin PennerJarret StollJustin Williams

Dwight KingMike RichardsTrevor Lewis

Jordan NolanBrad RichardsonTyler Toffoli

Robyn RegehrDrew Doughty

Rob ScuderiSlava Voynov

Jake MuzzinKeaton Ellerby

Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Dustin Brown (suspended), Colin Fraser, Alec Martinez

Injured: Matt Greene (undisclosed), Willie Mitchell (knee)

Notes: Brown will serve the last of a two-game suspension for elbowing Jason Pominville of the Minnesota Wild. ... Sutter mixed up all his lines, notably breaking up Richards and Carter. Richards is with King and Lewis, both of whom he has briefly played with previously. "They're going to be good," Richards said. "It's probably more fun to switch it up and not get too comfortable. It's just to create that little bit of an offensive spark, which I think we've been lacking lately, and hopefully we can get things going." ... Sutter continues to express a need for scoring on the left side, specifically King, Clifford and Penner, who was scratched Wednesday. "For us to have any chance in the playoffs, we need those guys to be productive players for us, and the way they can do it is to have a good game," Sutter said Friday. ... Quick will make his eighth straight start.

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