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Demitra and Belanger Return for L.A.

January 29, 2006|Chris Foster and Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writers

The Kings got a little healthier Saturday, as forwards Pavol Demitra and Eric Belanger returned to the lineup.

Demitra sat out 10 games because of nerve damage in his right leg. Belanger sat out 13 games because of a partially torn groin.

Their return was tempered when defenseman Tim Gleason did not play because of a left knee injury that the Kings said was a bruise. Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky sat out much of the first period after an injury to his right knee.

Coach Andy Murray, who said Friday that Gleason would play and indicated Demitra would sit out Saturday's game, said Visnovsky was fine.

"He didn't miss a shift," Murray said.

Visnovsky left after being hammered into the boards by Corey Perry 7 minutes 11 seconds into the game. He did not return to the ice until the first period ended, when he tested his knee after both teams went to the dressing rooms. Visnovsky finished the game, playing 20:23.

Gleason's status was uncertain. He has battled knee and shoulder problems throughout the season.


The game got rougher after the Ducks took a 6-1 lead. The teams combined for 87 penalty minutes in the third period, with a few multi-player scrums, and 121 for the game.

The third-period shenanigans resulted in a game misconduct for Todd Fedoruk of the Ducks, and 10-minute misconducts for teammates Scott Niedermayer and Jason Marshall and the Kings' Jeff Cowan.


The Ducks' top line of Teemu Selanne, Andy McDonald and Chris Kunitz continues to have an impact. They combined for seven points against the Kings on Saturday, giving them 26 in the last seven games.

"We're very hungry to have success," said Selanne, who has an 11-game point streak. "Every game, the chemistry has been really good."

Said Coach Randy Carlyle: "They get offensive minutes and they get opportunities to play the power play. When you give players that type of ice time and those quality minutes in that situation, they're expected to deliver."


With two assists, Selanne moved within two points of 1,000, which would make him the seventh European player in the NHL to accomplish the feat. The others are Jari Kurri, Jaromir Jagr, Peter Stastny, Mats Sundin, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Mogilny.

"I think it's a great honor to reach it," Selanne said. "But I still have two points. I have to make those."

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