Left wing Marco Sturm has played in 15 games for the Kings since being acquired… (Kirby Lee / U.S. Presswire )
With points in their last six games, the Kings are on their hottest streak in more than two months. Offensively, however, they are mired in a cold spell, averaging fewer than two goals a game since mid-January.
But help may be on the way. Left wing Marco Sturm is ready to come off the injured reserve list, perhaps in time for Thursday's game in Pittsburgh.
"It's always hard because everybody that's in the lineup is contributing and playing pretty well right now," Coach Terry Murray said after Tuesday morning's practice in El Segundo. "But the bottom line is we're trying to get to our best lineup as quickly and as soon as we can."
Sturm, who had off-season surgery on his right knee, was acquired from Boston in December, despite his not having played for the Bruins this season. He played in 15 games for the Kings, scoring four goals, before suffering tendinitis in his left knee.
One reason he went on injured reserve so quickly, Sturm said, was to rehabilitate his knees and be 100% for the Kings' playoff drive.
"It was not just the knee. I also got my strength back a little bit," said Sturm, who practiced for about 90 minutes Tuesday. "It's been a good week. I'm going to [come] back hopefully this week. So we'll see."
His greatest strength is his speed, which has helped him score at least 21 goals seven times in his 13-year career. And although that's a weapon the Kings otherwise lack, Murray is opposed to rushing his fastest player back onto the ice.
"That's the part that we're looking at real close here in the workouts," Murray said. "[Monday's] tempo, I came away at the end of the day feeling I needed to see a little bit more. And it was better out there today.
"When he's on top of it, has good jump, good hands, good vision, he's a good player. And that's going to make us a better hockey club at the end of the day."
To create a roster spot, Murray said that, barring injury, it probably means sending either defenseman Alec Martinez, 23, or forward Andrei Loktionov, 20, to Manchester [N.H.] of the American Hockey League.
Parse on the mend
Although Scott Parse continues to make progress in his rehab from November hip surgery, the second-year winger will not make the team's six-game road swing.
Parse ran Monday for the first time since the surgery but still can't practice "full bore," he said. "It gets better every day. But still it's a little ways away."