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Inside the NHL | KING REPORT

Palffy Doubtful for Devils' Game

November 25, 2003|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

Nothing new going on with the Kings, other than another injured star and a budding goaltender controversy.

Ziggy Palffy's facial injury and the uncertainty over which goaltender will start tonight against the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils were the prime topics Monday. The Kings said that Palffy has two broken teeth and soft-tissue damage on the right side of his face after he was hit by a puck while on the bench with 3:15 left to play against Colorado. Palffy, tied for second in the NHL in scoring before Monday's games, did not practice and is doubtful for tonight's game.

"He's real sore," King Coach Andy Murray said. "I guess we're going day-to-day right now. If the swelling goes down and he's feeling more comfortable, then he will play [Thursday at Phoenix]." Murray then addressed the Kings' goaltending situation. One night after Roman Cechmanek lost to the Dallas Stars, second-year backup Cristobal Huet stopped 21 shots Saturday and handed Colorado its first shutout this season. When asked who would start tonight, Murray paused 10 seconds before answering.

"We still haven't made a decision there to be honest with you," he said. "We have one guy who is our No. 1 goaltender. We also have a goalie that came off a shutout performance and played extremely well, although we did not give up a lot of [scoring] opportunities."

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Jozef Stumpel, out since Oct. 25 because of a bruised chest, skated in a contact situation Monday for the first time in almost a month and said he probably wouldn't play until Thursday, although tonight remains a possibility.

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