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Smolinski Suffering Net Loss

Pro Hockey | KING REPORT

December 03, 2001|Jerry Crowe

Bryan Smolinski made it through the Kings' 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday without registering a point, leaving the veteran forward scoreless in four consecutive games and seven of eight.

Smolinski, who averaged more than 22 goals and 50 points during his first eight NHL seasons, has two goals and one assist in 15 games since his linemate and close friend, Glen Murray, was traded to the Boston Bruins in the Oct. 24 deal that brought all-star center Jason Allison to the Kings.

Before the trade, Smolinski had eight points in nine games.

With four goals and seven assists in 24 games overall, he is on a pace that projects to one of the least productive seasons of his career.

"Bryan has been a very good player for us the last two years," said Coach Andy Murray, who has repeatedly said that Smolinski, a candidate for the U.S. Olympic team, was the Kings' best player last season. "But this year he hasn't had his game going the way that he or we would like....

"He's got to be that 20-to-30-goal scorer that he was for us last year. Right now, he's got four, which would make him a 14-to-16-goal scorer. We need more."

*

When Ziggy Palffy left Staples Center on Saturday, he was so sore after suffering a chest contusion during a second-period crash into the boards that he had to stop to catch his breath as he walked to his car.

He'll be reevaluated today, but when he was not being treated Sunday, the winger was "virtually bedridden," trainer Pete Demers said.

He will not play tonight against the Calgary Flames, Murray said.

Bumped by Predator defenseman Cale Hulse as he fired a shot on net while racing down the left side of the ice, Palffy lost his balance and slid on his knees from the faceoff circle before slamming into the end boards.

TONIGHT

vs. Calgary, 7:30

Fox Sports Net

Site--Staples Center.

Radio--KSPN (1110).

Records--Kings 8-12-3-2, Flames 13-6-5-2.

Record vs. Flames--0-1-1.

Update--A 5-5 tie against the Kings on Nov. 20 started a seven-game winless streak for the Flames, who have lost four of their last five games and are 0-4-3 since defeating the St. Louis Blues, 2-0, on Nov. 17. Jarome Iginla, who leads the league with 22 goals and 39 points, scored four goals in two games against the Kings last month.

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