Martinez leaves early; status unclear

Defenseman Alec Martinez played his final shift of Thursday’s 2-0 loss to Dallas with just under nine and a half minutes remaining in the second period. His last registered action in the game, courtesy of the play-by-play log, was a block of a Jordie Benn wristshot with 9:29 remaining in the second.

Martinez remained on the bench but ultimately went down the tunnel to the Kings’ room. Though an alert in the press box notified the media that he was still “being evaluated,” he did not return to the game, and Darryl Sutter didn’t provide any clear appraisal of his defenseman’s status.

“Left the game in the second period and did not return. Once the doctor gives us some more information, that’s about all I can tell you,” Sutter said.

I was chatting with Rich Hammond outside the Kings’ room after the game when we noticed this:

Any type of absence with Martinez would leave the Kings alarmingly short defensively. With Jamie McBain’s call-up, they have under $15,000 in cap space, according to and would be faced with options that include placing a player on Long Term Injured Reserve (in which case the player would have to miss 10 games and 24 calendar days), or playing with another 13/5 forward/defense ratio, as they did in last Saturday’s win over Vancouver.

Though Robyn Regehr skated earlier today, he isn’t expected to return in time for Saturday’s matinee. In addition to Martinez, Drew Doughty, Matt Greene and Brayden McNabb are the only defensemen to have played in all 16 games this season.

UPDATE, 11:05 p.m.:

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