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Brust likely to start again in goal

December 16, 2006|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

The Kings' immediate future rests in the glove of goaltender Barry Brust, who will probably start his second NHL game today when the Kings face the Dallas Stars at Staples Center.

Dan Cloutier, injured during pregame warmups Thursday when struck by an Alexander Frolov shot, did not practice Friday because of a bruised shoulder. He is doubtful for today, Coach Marc Crawford said.

As a precaution, the Kings brought in Yutaka Fukufuji from Manchester, N.H., the Kings' American Hockey League team, as an emergency call-up -- he can stay 48 hours without the team making a roster move.

Brust, a last-minute replacement Thursday, stopped 34 shots against the San Jose Sharks in a 4-2 victory, his first NHL start.

"Coach called me in 10 minutes before the game and shook my hand and said, 'Congratulations,' " 23-year old Brust said. "When they dropped the puck, I said to myself, 'Don't screw this up.' The guys did a great job in front of me."

It was Brust's second NHL game. He was recalled after Mathieu Garon suffered a groin injury Nov. 29 and the next night Brust was sent in against the Phoenix Coyotes after Cloutier gave up three goals on five shots. Brust gave up four goals in that game and took the loss.

He enjoyed Thursday's experience better, keeping the puck as a memento. His parents, though, were flying back to British Columbia after visiting him the past week.

"I called my girlfriend, my parents, friends afterward," Brust said. Now he will probably get a second chance.

"If Dan can't go, then I have to give the team a strong performance," said Brust, who was signed as a free agent in 2004.

The Kings have now lost both their goaltenders while in noncompetitive situations -- Cloutier in warm-ups and Garon while making a save post-practice, when players lingered to get a few shots on net.


Fukufuji, who is from Tokyo, will be the first Japanese-born player to suit up for an NHL regular-season game. He was an eighth-round pick in 2004.

"It's a big week for Japan," Crawford said. First pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka "signs with the Boston Red Sox and now we call up Fuku."

Frolov, meanwhile, admitted to being the culprit who shot the puck that hurt Cloutier, but added that everything was fine between them.

"I said I was sorry," Frolov said.


TONIGHT vs. Dallas, 1, FSN West

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 1150.

Records -- Kings 12-17-4, Stars 20-12-0.

Record vs. Flames (2005-06) -- 0-4.

Update -- The Kings will probably be without defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who missed the San Jose game with a shoulder injury. The Stars have lost three of their last four games.

Tickets -- (888) 546-4752.

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