Brendan Smith has good memories of the Red Wings playing at Los Angeles' Staples Center.
It's where Smith earned his first NHL point in November 2011, assisting on Justin Abdelkader's goal.
"I like this rink," said Smith, who returned Wednesday to the Red Wings lineup. Smith has been out since Feb. 2 with a sprained shoulder.
"Good memories," Smith said. "It's great to be back here. This where it all started here in Los Angeles, and it's pretty cool to get back here again and get back at it."
Smith received a scare in the third period when Kings forward Dustin Penner nailed Smith in the same shoulder, away from the play.
No penalty was called but Smith was in noticeable pain skating off the ice (he was briefly attended to on the ice).
Smith did return to the game and played 16 minutes, 8 seconds on 24 shifts.
"I was just in front of the net and didn't even turn, and just got hit by Penner," said Smith of the hit, near the injured shoulder. "I'm not sure why it happened, if it was intentional. I was hurting.
"You're not ready for it, and the puck isn't around, and he's big, too. It was a little bit of whiplash more than anything."
Smith did return late in the third period.
"I came back so I wasn't too bad," Smith said.
Coach Mike Babcock put Smith and Kyle Quincey (sprained ankle) back in the lineup on defense, while sitting Ian White and Kent Huskins.
Quincey missed the last two games with his ankle but scored the lone Red Wings goal Monday.
Babcock liked the way his redesigned defense looked.
"I liked my defense tonight," Babcock said. "We made some mistakes but I still liked the six of them. They could skate and move the puck, which was positive to see."
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130228/SPORTS0103/302280402#ixzz2MCnpkGRN
Brendan Smith's return to Wings lineup is painful one
Detroit News | Feb 28