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Red Wings Vs. Kings / Notes

April 12, 2001|HELENE ELLIOTT

Defenseman Aaron Miller returned to the Kings' lineup after sitting out nine games because of a sprained left wrist. He played 17 minutes--the fewest of the six defensemen--and took no shots, but he blocked two Detroit shots.

"My hand feels better than the rest of me," Miller said. "It was a tough game and a tough first period. It's difficult to spot that team three goals."

King Coach Andy Murray said he thought Miller got stronger as the game went on. "I didn't think he was our weakest defenseman," Murray said.

Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky didn't play because of lingering discomfort from the nerve damage caused when he was slashed on the back of his left leg in the Kings' season finale last Saturday at Calgary. He's expected to return for Game 2.

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Murray chose Stephane Fiset over Jamie Storr to back up Felix Potvin, citing Fiset's playoff experience.

Fiset, who sat out the first 25 games because of a sprained left knee, sprained it again Dec. 22, in his seventh game. He did not play again for the Kings, although he did play two games with Lowell of the American Hockey League on a rehabilitation assignment.

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Murray said he and other coaches were advised by NHL executives during a conference call that referees will crack down on infractions around the crease, as well as on slashing and obstruction. "That's what we were told before last year's series too," he said, "and I felt the Red Wings got two goals where there was goaltender interference." . . . The Kings will hold a Fan Fest from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, before Game 3 Sunday at Staples Center. Eleventh Street will be closed off outside Star Plaza to accommodate various pregame activities. . . . Jared Aulin, acquired from the Colorado Avalanche in the Rob Blake trade, joined the Kings Wednesday in Detroit and will practice with them. Aulin recently finished his junior hockey season with Kamloops of the Western Hockey League.

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