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Blake to Return by Saturday

HOCKEY DAILY REPORT : KINGS

January 22, 1997|LONNIE WHITE

Defenseman Rob Blake, who has been sidelined because of a broken right hand since Dec. 26, is expected to return for Saturday's game against the Mighty Ducks at the Forum at 5 p.m. Blake practiced with the team on Monday.

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The Kings took defenseman Sean O'Donnell off injured reserve on Tuesday, and waived defenseman John Slaney. The Kings may recall Slaney once he has cleared 48-hour waivers and send him to Phoenix, their International Hockey League affiliate. . . . Paul DiPietro, a center with Phoenix in the IHL was sent on loan to Cincinnati on Tuesday.

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Right wing Brad Smyth, who gave the Kings a boost with four goals in five games after being acquired in a trade from Florida, returned to the lineup Tuesday night against New Jersey at the Forum. Smyth, who was not in uniform the last three games, replaced Kai Nurminen, who suffered a leg injury in Monday's practice. With Vitali Yachmenev and Yanic Perreault back after missing several games because of injuries, Matt Johnson was the odd man out against the Devils.

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Starting with tonight's game at San Jose, the Kings will play 19 of their next 20 games against Western Conference opponents and 10 of their next 18 games at home.

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