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Kings may have G Ersberg back vs. Coyotes

Phoenix (16-14-5) at Los Angeles (14-14-6), 10:30 pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Kings could have

starting goaltender Erik Ersberg back when the club opens a

home-and-home series with the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday.

Ersberg has not played since suffering a groin injury on

December 15, but Kings' goaltending coach Bill Ranford said

earlier this week that the 26-year-old netminder could be

activated before Friday's game.

"I think the plan is to hopefully have him back just after to

Christmas," Ranford said of Ersberg, who is 8-5-2 with a 2.38

goals-against average. "I don't know if it will be the first

game, but if we can get some practices in right after the break

and as long as he doesn't tweak it and go backwards, there will

be a good chance he will be available right after Christmas."

With backup goaltender Jason LaBarbara 1-3-3 in December, the

Kings turned to rookie Jon Quick for the club's final two games

before the holiday break.

Quick had trouble shutting down the high-octane Detroit Red

Wings offense in a 6-4 loss on Saturday, but bounced back to

make 24 saves in a 3-0 victory Tuesday at Columbus - the first

shutout of his NHL career.

If Ersberg does not rejoin the club Friday, Quick is expected to

get another start.

The Coyotes have earned at least one point in seven of their

last eight games and come in off an impressive third-period

rally against Colorado on Tuesday.

Phoenix trailed 4-2 late in the game, but captain Shane Doan

notched a pair of goals during the final five minutes to force

overtime - where Colorado won on a goal by Brett Clark.

The Kings and Coyotes will play again Saturday in Glendale.

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