As a New York Islander, right wing Ziggy Palffy played in few meaningful games. And he didn’t have to put much effort into playing defense, because his job was to score.
With the Kings, who acquired him last June, Palffy has found every game intense--and he’s expected to be responsible defensively. He doesn’t mind, but he’s more involved in the physical end of things, which may explain the back spasms that kept him out of the Kings’ 6-3 loss at San Jose last Saturday.
“I’m feeling like I’m getting more hits here,” Palffy said Monday after practicing and pronouncing himself ready to play tonight against the Canucks. “I have to play both ways on the ice, and when you do that, you’re going to have hits all over the ice. If it hurts, it’s hard to play, but I want to do what I can to help the team.”
Palffy is eager to play in his first NHL playoff game, but he’s not looking too far ahead. “We have to concentrate because we have 20 games left and we have to be prepared,” he said.
Defenseman Garry Galley, idled by a neck strain last Saturday, also expects to return. . . . Goalie Stephane Fiset will start for the fourth time in five games.
The 12th annual Tip-A-King charity event will be held Sunday at the HealthSouth Training Center in El Segundo. Proceeds will benefit the Kings’ Care Foundation. Details: (213) 742-7167.
Fox Sports Net
* Site--Staples Center.
* Radio--KRLA (1110).
* Records--Kings 30-25-7-3, Canucks 21-30-11-6.
* Record vs. Canucks--1-0.
* Update--The Canucks stumbled through a 2-12-4 stretch from late November through early January. They’re on the fringe of the West playoff race and are 6-3-1 since the All-Star break. Vancouver winger Alexander Mogilny is expected to play after missing eight games because of a shoulder injury.
* Tickets--(888) 546-4752.