Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who was playing in his 199th consecutive game, did not return after this open-ice hit on San Jose’s Tyler Kennedy during the first period:
Announced as an upper-body injury by the team’s public relations staff during the game, the extent of the injury was unclear following Los Angeles’ 2-1 loss to San Jose.
“I haven’t even talked to him,” Darryl Sutter said. “He didn’t feel good enough to come back, so leave it at that.”
As of the time the team left the arena, it was not clear whether Doughty would travel with to Vancouver, where the Canucks will host the Kings on Saturday night. That San Jose is only an hour flight from Los Angeles could have an effect as to whether Doughty would return home.
The Kings coach was encouraged by the team’s performance in shifting to five defensemen.
“I thought they played a scrappy game,” Sutter said. “There’s lots of nights you go to five D. With Greene coming back in, he was fresh.”
Jake Muzzin, who issued four hits and registered three shots on goal in 23:05 of ice time, spoke of the defense’s collective effort when handed an early bout of adversity.
“Any time you lose a D-man, especially one of Drew Doughty caliber, it’s a big hole,” he said. “But I thought…we did well with five D keeping it short, keeping it simple, and we knew we were going to get a lot more ice, so for the most part we did a pretty good job at it.”
“It’s kind of the team atmosphere,” Dustin Brown said. “I mean, [Doughty’s] obviously one of our best players, and we’ve got to pick up the slack by committee. That’s why we have extra D-men on hand, and we go from there.”