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Injuries Mounting at a Record Pace

February 15, 2004|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The injury door hadn't swung shut on a King in nearly two weeks, an eternity for a team on pace to lose the most man-games to injury in NHL history.

Then came Friday, and a second-period collision between right wing Scott Barney and Buffalo Sabre center Adam Mair, and another King went on the injured reserve list a day later.

Barney, out because of a possible separation in his right shoulder, had been one of the Kings' most productive players in recent weeks, scoring 10 points in 14 games since being called up Jan. 12 from Manchester (N.H.). Barney had a goal and an assist Friday before the collision. He will be evaluated further Tuesday in Los Angeles.

His injury is of the week-to-week variety, Coach Andy Murray said.

The Kings have lost 460 man-games to injury with 25 games left. The league does not officially track injury records, but the Boston Bruins are believed to have lost the most man-games with 573 in 1991-92. At this rate, the Kings would lose 662 man-games.

"That's incredible," Murray said. "I just know it's a lot of injuries. Scott Barney had a very solid game going for us. We've got to rebound against a very, very good team."

Forward Pavel Rosa, the Kings' second-round selection in the 1995 draft, was recalled Saturday from Manchester to take Barney's spot.

Rosa, who led Manchester in scoring with 22 goals and 34 assists in 51 games, has had various tours with the Kings but never managed to stick with the big club. He had four goals and 12 assists in 29 games with the Kings in 1998-99, but went scoreless in three NHL games in 1999-2000 and two games last season.

"Pavel was a guy that was recommended by our people [in Manchester]," Murray said. "We're hoping he steps in and plays very well for us."


Enforcer Kip Brennan, who had not played since Dec. 26, was loaned to Manchester on a voluntary conditioning assignment. Brennan had been a healthy scratch in 12 consecutive games since returning from a 10-game suspension for coming back to the ice after being escorted off by referees.

"It's a tough situation for him right now," Murray said. "Because of some of the players we have out of our lineup, you need more balanced scoring. We are playing players who contribute more offensively than what Kip can do."



at New Jersey

11 a.m. PST, ESPN

Site -- Continental Airlines Arena.

Radio -- KSPN (710).

Records -- Kings 22-16-13-6, Devils 29-16-10-1.

Record vs. Devils -- 0-1-0-0.

Update -- The Kings went quietly in a 4-0 loss to the Devils on Nov. 25 at Staples Center, but this one should be closer because both teams are trying to secure points for a playoff push. The Devils are giving up a league-low 1.93 goals per game.

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