Drew Doughty had one goal and two assists in Game 3, but if you’re Darryl Sutter, you’re probably more encouraged by the fact that, when asked about that game, Doughty first mentioned his defense. Scoring from defense is important, but defense from defensemen is imperative, and Doughty is playing a smar game right now. He’s simple, instinctive and effective, while not taking unnecessary risks. So far in the playoffs, Doughty has one goal, four assists and a plus-5 rating in eight games.
DOUGHTY: “I’m feeling good out there. I think, throughout the playoffs, I’ve played pretty well defensively, and that’s my main objective, playing against the other team’s top line. I have to be at my best every night on the defensive side of the puck. Offensively, I always want to be able to contribute. I haven’t been as much this year, but to be on the scoreboard (in Game 3), and help our team win, was a great feeling for me.’’
Doughty’s goal in Game 3 was huge, as it restored the Kings’ two-goal lead just more than eight minutes into the third period. Doughty read the play, jumped up a bit and called for the puck. Mike Richards spotted him and Doughty scored on a shot that trickled past Brian Elliott. Doughty was asked about whether he was yelling for the puck when he saw the potential for the play.
DOUGHTY: “I was yelling. I don’t even know what I was doing. I just saw how much ice I had in front of me. I knew that Rick is one of the players on our team that’s capable of making that pass every time, and seeing what’s behind him. I know, when he has the puck, that if you’re going the rush, you’re probably going to get it and have a good opportunity.’’
As for yesterday’s anecdote from Doughty, about being scolded by Darryl Sutter for glancing at a TV during an intermission, Sutter said he’s just trying to help.
SUTTER: “They’re young guys, right? Drew is a kid. I have kids older than him. So I try to handle it like I would handle my children. … Drew is an awesome, awesome kid. He’s no different than any kid that age. You can help him along. You look at (Game 3). He didn’t need any help. Maybe there is a night when he does need help, or a moment when he does need help.’’