Injured Garon may not be ready soon

From Times Staff Reports

Kings goaltender Dan Cloutier's best game of the season came at an opportune time, as it appears Mathieu Garon's day-to-day status is an optimistic appraisal.

Garon, who suffered a groin injury as practiced ended on Wednesday, will not return to the ice until he has passed two strength tests. Those tests have yet to be scheduled and his chances of playing Thursday against the Nashville Predators are slim.

Cloutier stopped 27 shots in a 3-2 victory over the Ducks Sunday at the Honda Center. It was only the fifth time in 17 starts that he has allowed less than three goals. Cloutier looked sharp throughout, including a toe-save on a rocket shot by Teemu Selanne midway through the third period.

Selanne scored two goals on Cloutier in the Ducks' 4-3 victory Saturday at Staples Center.


Selanne was on the Kings' minds before the game.

"You got to be aware of that guy," said Alexander Frolov, who scored two goals Sunday. "He is a such a good player that he can get lost out there. Then it's a goal. He did that to us twice Saturday."

Selanne was shut out Sunday, getting only two shots on goal.

Frolov, meanwhile, had his fourth two-goal performance in the last 10 games. He leads the team with 16 goals and 28 points.

"Maybe I am looking to score a little more, shoot the puck a few more times," said Frolov, who has looked to make plays more in the past. "It's a lot more fun."


Kings defenseman Brent Sopel, out because of broken bones in his ankle and hand, will be re-evaluated this week and could return to practice in a week.

-- Chris Foster


Ducks goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov's first start since Nov. 17 didn't have the desired finish as he injured himself in the third period Sunday night.

Bryzgalov appeared to have hurt his leg as he stretched to make a breakaway save on a shot by Frolov. The backup had been unavailable for five games because of a lower-body injury, then came off injured reserve before Thursday's game at Vancouver.

Bryzgalov immediately called for trainer Tim Clark after making the save. Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who had expected an off day after starting seven of the last eight games, replaced him with 12:34 remaining in the third.

It is not known if this injury is related to the one Bryzgalov suffered during practice Nov. 20. He was receiving treatment after the game and was unavailable for comment.

"Obviously there'll a re-evaluation process" today, Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said.

If Bryzgalov is back on the shelf for an extended time, the Ducks figure to recall Michael Wall from their minor-league affiliate in Portland, Maine.

The Ducks are not practicing today as they visit the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

-- Eric Stephens

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