Defenseman Matt Greene talks about his return to the Kings’ lineup

Kings defenseman Matt Greene had two shots on net and five hits in 22 shifts over 16 minutes, 15 seconds in his first game Thursday night after sitting out 42 following back surgery in January. He spoke after the Kings’ grind-it-out 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets about his return to the active roster.

“I just wanted to play well,” Greene said. “I didn’t want to make any mistakes. Just wanted to keep it simple. Obviously, the puck got away from me a few times. Hopefully, I can rectify that in the next few games. I was just thinking don’t mess up too much. Hopefully, I’ll get better and move on. You can’t simulate that, going back for pucks or battling in the corners. You’ve got to get out there and do it. You expect some hiccups. I’ve just got to get them out of my game as soon as possible.”

Asked if the final five games of the regular season were enough to prepare him for the playoffs to come, he added, “Hope so. You want to see how your back holds up. You can do as many exercises as you want, but it all comes down to being physical and battling. If I can’t battle in the corners, I’m pretty much useless.”

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