Dustin Brown

Kings captain Dustin Brown still might have some catching up to do when the team plays in its season opener Thursday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / May 10, 2013)

Kings captain Dustin Brown said Monday he was still working to "chip some of the rust off" after playing his first exhibition game Saturday and working hard through a morning practice.

"My conditioning, the physical part is OK," said Brown, who sustained an injured hamstring at the start of training camp. "It was the little puck plays, a couple plays where I mishandled it or didn't make a touch pass I can make nine times out of 10. … I've missed training camp and it shows.

"That's why I wanted to play at least one game, and with three good days to push myself in practice, I'll have skated for seven, eight good days before the first game. My knee's solid, my hamstring feels fine."

Brown was slowed at the end of last season by a knee injury that now requires a brace — something the player who despises even tape on his body is working to find comfort with.

"We're working to get a brace that's more customized," Brown said. "I've got to get used to it. With an injury like this, I've got to protect myself."

Although Brown expects to play in the Kings' opener Thursday at Minnesota — perhaps on a third line with Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis — Kings Coach Darryl Sutter isn't making promises.

"If we played tomorrow, he'd be a very rusty player," Sutter said. "It's not who you are or what you did, it's where you are now. This is not Hollywood."

Kings set roster

The Kings got defenseman Jeff Schultz back after putting him on waivers a day earlier. He was then sent to minor league Manchester (N.H.) as the Kings set their regular-season roster at 23 players.

The Kings moved young right wing Tyler Toffoli, center Linden Vey and left wing Tanner Pearson to Manchester a day earlier. Sutter said each had pushed veterans to play better in camp and can expect to be back with the Kings this season.

"These kids are all awesome players," Sutter said. "Just 'cause the veteran players are playing … those are the rules, the process. It wasn't like anyone here beat anyone out. They're all coming off good years in the American league and they have things they have to get more work in."

Sutter said Ben Scrivens beat out veteran Mathieu Garon for the backup goalie spot because he "got better as camp went on."

Welcome back

Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell, who endured two knee surgeries last season, expects to play in a regular-season game Thursday for the first time in 15 months. But he couldn't get to the finish line without some more discomfort from a puck that hit him in the ankle in the third period Saturday.

"There's a lot of things you miss about the game of hockey," Mitchell concluded, "but this isn't one of them."

Ducks set roster

Hampus Lindholm, the 19-year-old first-round pick of the Ducks in 2012, made the team's final roster as it prepares for Wednesday's regular-season opener at Colorado.

Lindholm impressed Ducks coaches with his skill and effort, and he scored three exhibition-season goals.

Right wing Devante Smith-Pelly and center Peter Holland also made the team, though forwards Emerson Etem and Jakob Silfverberg and defenseman Luca Sbisa are expected to return from injuries in October. Defenseman Sheldon Souray is expected out for the first two months.

The Ducks moved five players to the minor leagues, including right wing Brad Staubitz, who played 15 games with the team last season, and 6-foot-6 defenseman Nolan Yonkman, who came to the Ducks after seven games with Florida last season.

The team also put left wing and center Richard Rakell on the American Hockey League's Norfolk (Va.) roster, and put goalie Igor Bobkov at Utah.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimespugmire