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Infection Affecting Allison's Performance

January 21, 2002

Slump-ridden center Jason Allison, who has failed to score in eight of the Kings' last 11 games, is suffering from a sinus infection that has hindered his play for several weeks, team trainer Pete Demers said Sunday.

"He's admitted that it's affecting his performance," Demers said, "and we have to rest him as much as we can and let the medication work."

Allison, acquired along with Mikko Eloranta in an Oct. 24 trade that sent Jozef Stumpel and Glen Murray to the Boston Bruins, failed to score in three of his first four games with the Kings. But the rugged center then scored in 20 of the next 24, becoming the point-a-game player the Kings expected.

His late goal against the Phoenix Coyotes on Dec. 26 gave the Kings a 1-1 tie and extended his career-long point-producing streak to nine games.

Since then, however, the former Bruin captain has scored only one goal and three assists in 11 games, though his playing time has not decreased noticeably. He leads the Kings with 32 points, among them 23 assists, in 39 games.

Allison, who stayed home from practice Sunday, has suffered from congestion for weeks, Demers said, and has been prescribed antibiotics.

"We expect it to go away," Demers said, "but we expect that it's going to take some time. We don't have any handle on it at this point. It might take some time, but we hope the medicine is going to help him. It might be a few weeks."

Philippe Boucher, who suffered a concussion in Thursday night's 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, returned to practice and said it would be decided this morning whether he can play tonight against the Mighty Ducks at the Arrowhead Pond.... Mattias Norstrom and Craig Johnson, who left Saturday's 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders because of stomach flu, sat out practice but Coach Andy Murray said he expected them to play tonight.... The Kings, whose .902 penalty-killing percentage is the NHL's best, have not led the league in penalty killing since the 1974-75 season.

Jerry Crowe

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