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KING REPORT

Garon Gets Clearance to Play

January 19, 2006|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

Goaltender Mathieu Garon was cleared to play tonight against Atlanta after an MRI exam on his left shoulder revealed no damage. Garon was injured during Tuesday's game against Tampa Bay.

"I'm feeling better today, but it is hard to say whether I'm going to be able to play," Garon, who has started 27 of the last 32 games, said Wednesday.

Garon suffered what the Kings called a bruised left shoulder and also needed two stitches to close a cut after he caught a shot by the Lightning's Ruslan Fedotenko with 14:22 left in the first period. Garon fell to the ice but finished the period. He was replaced by Jason LaBarbera at the start of the second period.

LaBarbera, who hasn't started a game since Dec. 29, would play if Garon were unable to.

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The Kings sent defenseman Denis Grebeshkov to Manchester, a possible prelude to Lubomir Visnovsky's return to the lineup. Visnovsky, second among NHL defensemen in goals and points, has sat out two games because of a cervical strain.

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Jeremy Roenick, who turned 36 Tuesday, is ready for a do-over. Roenick struggled the first 2 1/2 months of the season and has been out since breaking a finger against Vancouver on Dec. 19.

"I just want to forget about the first half of the season," he said during a guest appearance as a broadcaster Tuesday. "I just want to throw it out the window."

Roenick, acquired from Philadelphia in August, has six goals and 13 points in 32 games. He has lost 15 pounds and said he probably would return to the lineup within two weeks.

TONIGHT

vs. Atlanta, 7:30, FSN West

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- Kings 28-18-2, Thrashers 23-18-6.

Record vs. Thrashers (2003-04) -- 0-0-1.

Update -- The Thrashers, 13-2-3 in their last 18 games, have the league's fourth-best power play, and the return of goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who sat out 35 games because of a groin injury, has helped make the team a playoff contender.

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