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Marco Sturm to be on fourth line in Kings debut

The left wing will be eased into his first game since undergoing major surgery on his right knee in May when the Kings play at Colorado on Tuesday. Sturm joined the team in St. Louis last week.

December 20, 2010|By Helene Elliott

From Denver — Marco Sturm will be eased into his Kings debut and first game since he underwent major surgery on his right knee in May.

Coach Terry Murray changed his mind about placing Sturm on the top line and instead will put him on the fourth line, likely with Trevor Lewis at center and Alexei Ponikarovsky on the right, against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. The top-line left wing will be Brad Richardson, who had a hat trick here Oct. 23. "I had that in the back of my mind," Murray said. Anze Kopitar will center the line and Dustin Brown will return to right wing.

Sturm joined the team in St. Louis last week after passing a series of tests on his knees. He has been doing extra skating daily.

"After the last few days of him practicing and speaking with him, I think it's important to just get him into a game and get him going a little bit, without putting, I don't want to say too much, pressure on or too many expectations of performing at peak level with Kopi," Murray said Monday.

Justin Williams will be reunited with Ryan Smyth and Jarret Stoll, but the Kyle Clifford- Michal Handzus-Wayne Simmonds line will stay intact. Winger Oscar Moller, who had three points in two games, was reassigned to Manchester (N.H,) of the American Hockey League late Sunday.

Murray also said Jonathan Quick will start in goal and that defensemen Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty will continue to be paired. "We kind of like what's going on with those two guys right now, so I think it's nice to have a go-to pair that are capable of playing against anybody in the league," Murray said.

The other pairs will be Alec Martinez with Rob Scuderi and Davis Drewiske with Peter Harrold.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

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