AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson The Kings, who had 10 injured players out of the lineup Saturday, are inching toward health. Jeff Cowan (hamstring) and George Parros (ankle) are targeting a return for Monday’s game. Both players will skate before practice today as the team tries to assess their progress. Murray said both players underwent strength tests Tuesday and “looked pretty good.” High honor: The start of the season wasn’t great for Mathieu Garon, who found himself in a goaltending platoon, but December proved to be the best month of Garon’s career. On Tuesday, Garon was named the NHL’s defensive player of the month. In 12 games, Garon went 9-3 with a 2.40 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. Garon split time with Jason LaBarbera over the first month of this season but has started 21 of the Kings’ 26 games since Nov. 9. Overall, Garon has an 18-8 record and a 2.67 goals-against average. Just when Dustin Brown seemed to be getting his proverbial motor going, he popped a tire. Brown, coming off what coach Andy Murray called his best game of the season Saturday against Dallas, had a solid first period Monday against the Stars but his night ended in the final two minutes of the first period, when Brown was leveled by Brendan Morrow and didn’t return. Murray said Tuesday afternoon that Brown underwent an MRI earlier that day, the results of which Murray had not yet received. Brown said after Monday’s game that the initial diagnosis was muscle spasms in the shoulder and upper back area, and it’s unclear whether Brown will play Thursday against Phoenix. The news is better for Sean Avery and his “upper-body injury.” Murray said an MRI revealed no structural damage and that Avery might be able to return against Phoenix, or if not, then for Saturday’s game. Down and out: The Kings were already at the minimum 18 skaters Monday at 5:30 p.m. when a penalty-kill meeting was scheduled and Murray couldn’t find defenseman Nathan Dempsey. “Then somebody told me he was throwing up in the back room,” Murray said. Dempsey missed the game against Dallas with flu-like symptoms, leaving the Kings with just five healthy defenseman. To compensate, Lubomir Visnovsky played more than 28 minutes, Joe Corvo and Mattias Norstrom played 26 and Tim Gleason played 24. Fatigue didn’t see to be a factor, however, as Visnovsky scored twice, including the game-tying goal in the final minute, and Norstrom scored midway through overtime. Flu-like symptoms were the Kings’ toughest opponent in December. First they felled Jeremy Roenick, then Mathieu Garon, Craig Conroy and Dempsey, and Alexander Frolov also played through symptoms. Clean hit?: It seems that there will be no punishment for Morrow’s hit on Brown. After the game, Murray said the Kings’ coaching staff had determined that Brown was elbowed, but as he left the dressing room Monday night, Brown said he wasn’t sure what had happened. “I was kind of going down and he got me (in the shoulder area),” Brown said. “I didn’t really see it.” Rich Hammond, (818) 713-3611 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!