Kings captain Dustin Brown looked ready after a full practice Wednesday and a serious "bag skate" for about 50 minutes Tuesday. On top of that, he sounded poised to rejoin the lineup after a two-game absence because of a lower-body injury.
The targeted game: Thursday against the Washington Capitals at Staples Center.
"We'll see how it goes the next 24 hours but based off today, I think I'm ready to go," Brown said Wednesday after practice. "Just making sure I'm ready to go. Everything has gotten better over the last few days, progressively.
"From what I'm getting back from, that's the type of practice I needed. It's one thing — skating by yourself — but to get in the corners, for me it was great."
The Kings have lost three straight games — falling to Toronto, the Ducks and Phoenix — after winning eight in a row. Brown missed the Ducks and Phoenix games, and the Coyotes have pulled within five points of the Kings for third place (and a guaranteed playoff spot) in the Pacific Division.
"I watched one game from in a suite, and that gives you a whole new perspective on the game. It looks very easy," Brown said, jokingly. "Then I watched another game on TV. You see different things from different viewpoints. But I also have the experience of being on the bench and understanding.
"You can see tendencies from a team aspect. If there was a way to watch yourself from a suite standpoint … you see a lot more from overhead. When you watch on film, it doesn't really [do] it justice."
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter will get another crack Thursday at his 500th regular-season victory. He reflected on his early coaching days, and the way the Chicago Blackhawks helped him craft the transition from player to coach.
"I was much different because I was 29 years old and I wasn't good enough to play in the league anymore," Sutter said. "I had to find that out. Did I like it at the start? No.
"I was an assistant coach and I didn't like that. And I was fortunate to be in an organization that molded me, let me go be a head coach at the level I should have been at, which was a level down."
Part of the coaching conversation started in relation to Kings center Jarret Stoll and his positive influence on the ice and in the dressing room, particularly on such youngsters as Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli.
"Jarret's work ethic clearly inspires guys he plays with," Sutter said. "If you don't work your tail off and you play with Stollie, it stands out. ... A lot of other teams, players like that get talked about.
"Well-trained. Great practice habits. Knows the game. Understands his role. He's going to be a good coach."
It's the return of former Kings left wing Dustin Penner. He was signed by the Ducks as a free agent in July and moved to Washington just before the deadline. He has no goals and one assist in eight games with the Capitals.
UP NEXT FOR THE KINGS
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 1150.
Etc.: Reigning NHL most valuable player Alex Ovechkin leads the league with 20 power-play goals. No one else has more than 13. He also has a plus/minus rating of minus-31, second worst in the league behind Edmonton Oiler Nail Yakupov's minus-33.