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KINGS REPORT

Opponents are feeling Brown's presence

November 22, 2006|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

Kings forward Dustin Brown has quietly gone about his job of creating mayhem on the ice in recent weeks.

He has bounced around hockey rinks, banging guys here, annoying goaltenders there, effectively using his 6-foot, 200-pound body. It is more white-knuckle than white-collar work, but as Brown often says, "It's what I do."

The Kings crave that on a consistent basis, since Brown is one of the few physical forwards the team has. And he has parlayed that skill into a tidy streak of games recently.

While Brown's numbers have been modest -- he has two goals and seven points in the last 10 games -- his presence has been impressive.

"I need to be one of the guys making hits up front," Brown said. "We don't have a lot of those guys at forward. Basically, it's me, Scott Thornton, Raitis Ivanans and maybe Sean Avery. That's why it is important that I be physical every game."

The Kings longed for Brown to have consistency last season. After a strong first month, Brown only occasionally displayed his abilities, finishing with 14 goals and 28 points.

Brown has shown maturity this season, though he is only 22. He had the winning goal against San Jose on Nov. 13 and has scored at least one point in five of the team's seven victories.

"I'm expected to hit guys and crash the net," said Brown, who has three goals and 10 points this season. "I have to be physical. I have always done that, but I knew this season I had to be much more consistent."

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The Kings on Tuesday recalled Peter Harrold from minor league Manchester. The Kings are short-handed on defense after Rob Blake and Oleg Tverdovsky suffered groin injuries. Blake and Tverdovsky skated Tuesday, but Blake was listed as doubtful and Tverdovsky questionable for tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks. Brent Sopel is out because of a broken ankle and broken hand, leaving the Kings with only five healthy defensemen.

Harrold, a 23-year-old rookie, has two goals and 13 points in 17 games with Manchester. He spent the last three years playing for Boston College.

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TONIGHT

at San Jose, 7:30, FSN West

Site -- HP Pavilion.

Radio -- 1150.

Records -- Kings 7-11-4, Sharks 15-7-0.

Record vs. Sharks -- 1-1-0.

Update -- The Sharks could have Jonathan Cheechoo back in the lineup tonight. Cheechoo, who led the NHL in goals last season, sat out the last two games because of a leg injury.

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chris.foster@latimes.com

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