The “upper-body” injury suffered by Drew Doughty in the first period of Thursday’ 2-1 loss in San Jose is not believed to be severe, and the Kings were guardedly optimistic on Friday that their most important defenseman may have avoided something that would keep him out of action for a significant amount of time.
“He might play tomorrow,” Darryl Sutter said.
When asked if the injury was serious, Sutter responded “No.”
Doughty, who suffered the injury while making an open-ice hit on the Sharks’ Tyler Kennedy less than 10 minutes into Thursday’s game, did not take the ice at practice at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Friday as the Kings summoned defenseman Andrew Campbell from AHL-Manchester as reinforcement.
Despite losing the player who leads the team in tice time with a 25:42 per-game average midway through the first period, players spoke after practice on Friday about the team’s ability to etch out a quality performance in his absence. The Kings held the Sharks to 14 shots below their seasonal average in the losing effort.
“Injuries sometimes happen,” said righthanded defenseman Slava Voynov, who set a season-high with 27:44 of ice time Thursday night. “We were ready to play for our guys. I was ready to play in Dewey’s spot. I play the power play a lot. Greener was ready, too. We were ready to go.”
I spoke with Dustin Brown about how the team reacts when a teammate succumbs to injury: