Slava Voynov has made Terry Murray’s life difficult, but in a good way. Called up because of injuries, Voynov has now played his way into a lineup spot, meaning Murray must make adjustments elsewhere. With Willie Mitchell’s return to the lineup tonight, the Kings have eight healthy defensemen. Alec Martinez, who had just returned from an injury himself and played one game, will be a healthy scratch, as will Davs Drewiske. Drew Doughty partners with Rob Scuderi, Voynov partners with Mitchell, and Jack Johnson partners with Matt Greene.
MURRAY: “It’s not an easy decision. Martinez has played very well for us, as has Whiskey. I thought he did a very good job in the couple games that he played for us, after being out for so long. I want to keep Voynov going. I really like the things he has brought to our team. He’s a good power-play player, as Martinez is. It’s just a decision you have to make.’’
Murray also talked about what Voynov has brought to the Kings this season…
MURRAY: “He’s a very good defending player. It’s something, probably, that won’t come out for a while, just in general. You see a lot of nice instincts for defending. His play away from the puck is really as good as it gets. He really supports partners. He gets available for linemates, teammates, to pass him the puck. That’s where you see him coming into the back door on the power play. He reads that so well for a young player. He’s just kind of cruising around, and it’s an instinctive read for him. The puck ends up coming to those kind of players at the right time. So he’s got a nice upside to his game.’’
As for Mitchell, he’s ready to play after missing a week with a groin injury.
MURRAY: “He feels good to go. He was close in the last game. He probably would have been able to get into the lineup if it was a playoff kind of a game. He felt really good yesterday in the practice, and ready to go today.’’