Klemm takes a step forward

Times Staff Writers

The combination of injuries and displeasure with underperforming individuals forced the Kings to recall veteran defenseman Jon Klemm from their American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester. He had been serving as captain with the Monarchs, appearing in 17 games.

He arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday night and promptly became a forward, playing Sunday against the Ducks on a line with center Michal Handzus and Matt Moulson, playing 8 minutes and 58 seconds.

Never mind that, though he played up front in training camp and a couple of games with Dallas last season, his last lengthy time was a couple of teams ago.


“Not since I was with Crow in Colorado a number of years ago,” said Klemm, who signed with the Kings as an unrestricted free agent in August.

That would be Kings Coach Marc Crawford, who apparently has an excellent memory. He said he was pleased with Klemm’s first game as a King.

“We knew we needed a bigger body in the lineup,” said Crawford of the 6-2, 205-pound Klemm.

“We wanted a bigger body. Jon really helps us killing penalties, a veteran guy. I thought he did a great job on the penalty kill tonight.

“He was good at being physical and finishing checks.”

His spot in the lineup meant that Ladislav Nagy, who has four goals and 11 points in 20 games, was a healthy scratch for the third time this season.

The early reports from the two injured Kings, who returned to the lineup on Saturday were mostly positive.

Kyle Calder, who played 16:34 and scored in the first period against the Ducks, talked about dealing with the limitations of his healing left thumb.

“Stick-handling a little bit,” he said. “For the most part, it’s mostly there. I have to figure out a way to get through it. Played well last night and let tonight slip away.”

Said enforcer Raitis Ivanans, recovering from a broken cheekbone: “I can pretty much do everything except fight.”

Ducks General Manager Brian Burke dismissed a rumor that the waiving of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on Nov. 16 was tied to their subsequent acquisition of center Brian Sutherby.

According to a report in the Ottawa Sun, Burke agreed to take Sutherby for a second-round pick if the Capitals did not claim Bryzgalov off waivers. Washington had the first selection but passed, allowing Phoenix to pick up the former Ducks backup.

The report also stated that because of the move, Phoenix General Manager Don Maloney would be a willing partner at the trade deadline when the Ducks would be in better salary-cap position to make a deal.

Burke also refuted a suggestion in the same report that Bryzgalov was waived because Jonas Hiller, the current backup whom the Ducks signed last May, had received a $1.5-million offer to play in Russia.

Ryan Getzlaf’s two goals Sunday extended his point-scoring streak to a career-best eight games. . . . Ducks winger Drew Miller sat out the game because of a strained left knee. . . . Todd Bertuzzi had his first multipoint game with the Ducks, assisting on both third-period goals.