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Absent Players Return to Ice

Times Staff Writer

Friday was a day of rest for most of the Kings, but not for goaltender Jason LaBarbera and winger Luc Robitaille.

LaBarbera, who had been excused from the team for personal issues, was back in the nets at the El Segundo practice facility for the first time since Monday, getting tested by a small group of rookies and “healthy wounded,” including Robitaille.

LaBarbera, who has not played in a game since Nov. 9 against Detroit, said it was “good to get back here and get your mind off things.”

“The whole season is about being in a routine,” he added. “And once you get out of it you kind of feel lost. So I’d love to get back into the swing of things.”

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Neither he nor Coach Andy Murray has set a timetable for his return to the lineup. Mathieu Garon will remain the starter, with Adam Hauser as backup.

Robitaille skated hard for more than an hour and afterward said his lower right leg fracture, suffered Nov. 3, has healed and that he hopes to return to the lineup sometime next week.

Derek Armstrong (groin) also skated and said afterward that he felt tenderness but may play tonight against Colorado.

TONIGHT

vs. Colorado, 7:30, FSNW

Site -- Staples Center.

Radio -- 710.

Records -- Kings 13-6-1-0, Avalanche 11-6-0-2.

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Record vs. Avalanche -- 1-0-0-0.

Update -- The Kings’ Mathieu Garon will make his fifth consecutive start in goal, a career high.


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