It’s been a long road back to the NHL for Marco Sturm — who hurt his knee in a May 1 playoff game — but the road ends tonight, as Sturm will make his Kings debut in a fourth-line role against Colorado. Sturm participated in this morning’s optional skate. Sturm’s play and conditioning will ultimately determine how long Sturm plays on the fourth line, as Terry Murray clearly has his eyes on a long-term first line of Sturm, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, but it’s been clear, in the past couple days, that Murray has been itching to get Sturm into the lineup and allow him to start that process. The Kings go into tonight’s game with the understanding, and thought, that Sturm might play only a handful of minutes.
MURRAY: “I just want to get him started. Get him onto a line where he’s going to play against, hopefully, their third or fourth line, and not put a lot of big responsibility on his shoulders in that first game. Get his feet under himself, get skating, get the feel of the game again and just start to get, physically and mentally, back into it.”