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It's Hard to Follow LaFayette's Act

April 01, 1998|LONNIE WHITE

At the start of the season, Nathan LaFayette's stock was so low he didn't even get a chance to play in exhibition games before the Kings sent him to the minors.

His status changed, however, when he made the most of his opportunity as the Kings' top checking center once he was recalled in early December.

LaFayette's value to the team has been magnified since he was sidelined because of a concussion suffered against Carolina on March 5. Coach Larry Robinson has used several players to fill his defensive role, but none has been able to duplicate LaFayette's combination of speed, strength and faceoff skills.

"If you look at our club, you can tell that our chemistry has been changed a little bit," Robinson said. "I think that we really miss Nathan in the middle."

The Kings hope that LaFayette, who has four goals and seven points in 30 games, can return before the playoffs. He is still listed as week to week and will not be back until he has not experienced headaches or dizziness for at least a week.


Los Angeles at Buffalo

* 4 PST

* Fox Sports


Site--Marine Midland Arena, Buffalo.

Radio--XTRA 690.

Records--Kings 34-27-11, Sabres 31-26-15.

Record vs. Sabres--0-0-1.

Update--The Kings are 1-1 on their six-game trip. They have not won at Buffalo since March 15, 1993, but Buffalo is only 3-3-4 in its last 10 home games. Buffalo goaltender Dominik Hasek leads the league with 12 shutouts. Forward Miroslav Satan leads the Sabres in scoring with 22 goals and 42 points.

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