EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings finally emerge from the dark, wispy shadows of an eight-day hiatus in their schedule tonight at Phoenix, and all expectations are that they should be stronger with the return of left wing Ryan Smyth, right wing Wayne Simmonds and defenseman Jack Johnson, who all missed time with injuries in recent weeks.
If all goes according to their expectations, the Kings’ offense should be bolstered by the return of these players, especially with Smyth being reunited with center Anze Kopitar and right wing Justin Williams on the first line.
The Kings will have to shift some players around on all of their forward lines to accommodate Smyth and Simmonds, and they hope the juggling will help get right wing Dustin Brown untracked.
After scoring 33 goals and adding 27 assists for sixty points in 78 games in the 2007-08 season, followed by 24 goals and 29 assists for 53 points in eighty games last season, Brown has just eight goals with nineteen assists for 27 points in 37 games this season.
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