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Kings put Gagne on IR

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Simon Gagne #12 of the Los Angeles Kings fends off Justin Braun #61 of the San Jose Sharks around the net at Staples Center on November 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Two days after missing the third period in a 4-3 win over Phoenix, LA Kings LW Simon Gagne has officially been placed on injured reserve. Kings GM Dean Lombardi made the announcement this morning, saying Gagne’s on the shelf with an upper-body injury.

The organization is keeping mum on specifics, but LA Kings Insider Rich Hammond reports it’s “obvious” Gagne hurt himself by hitting his head after a hit near the boards. (TSN has video of the suspected incident, watch it here.)

Questions now abound for new head coach Darryl Sutter: Who replaces Gagne in the top-six? How will the Kings’ struggling offense react to losing its fifth-leading scorer? Gagne had been skating with Mike Richards and Trevor Lewis on a revamped second line, so the likely candidates to jump up are third- and fourth-line LWs Dustin Penner and Kyle Clifford.

That said, winger Justin Williams could get promoted from third-line duty as well -- remember, he opened the season skating on the top unit with Gagne and Anze Kopitar.