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Fiset Not Guaranteed Playoff Time in Goal

It seems significant that with the Kings needing a victory or tie against the Mighty Ducks Saturday to clinch a playoff berth, Coach Andy Murray chose Stephane Fiset to start in goal.

But even though Fiset will make his fifth consecutive start, Murray stopped short Thursday of saying Fiset will be the designated playoff starter instead of Jamie Storr.

“We had a plan for which goalies would play and when, but when Steph got hurt and Jamie played all those games, we had to change,” Murray said, referring to the strained groin muscle that idled Fiset from March 5 until March 23. “That took a lot out of Jamie. What we’ve been doing has been more based on the fact Steph has been back in and is playing well.”

The ideal situation for the Kings would be for one goalie to get hot in the last weeks of the season and carry that in postseason play. But neither Fiset nor Storr has shown game-stealing form for long periods. Both also have been hampered by injuries.

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Murray, who gave the team Thursday off and spent the morning analyzing videotapes, said he hasn’t plotted his goaltending strategy.

“It’s interesting,” Murray said. “Both guys have played real well for us. We want to have that sustained quality of play. Jamie was rolling, and Steph is rolling now.

“It would be unfair for me to say one guy is going to get the brunt of the work. Steph has been in for the last four. I feel either one of them could play, but I think a team does maybe need a feeling there’s one guy stepping up.”

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Most players rode exercise bikes or lifted weights at the HealthSouth training center, but there was no formal workout. . . . Murray said the only player on the trainer’s table was right wing Ziggy Palffy, who is rehabilitating his sprained right shoulder. “They’re working him hard,” Murray said of the trainers. “I think he’s going to be happy when he can get back on the ice.” Palffy was to undergo a strength test today, and if the results are satisfactory, he will start skating Saturday.

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The Kings-United High School Hockey League championship game between Loyola and Mira Costa will be played Saturday at 10 a.m. at Staples Center before the Kings’ game against the Ducks. Admission for the high school game is free. Fans should use the 11th Street entrance.


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