This Week On The Ice: Drew Doughty’s Back
This week on the ice Drew Doughty laced up his skates for his first game since suffering a concussion and the Kings earned another win, rather unimpressively.
Doughty was hurt after a hit in the neutral zone by Carolina’s Erik Cole. Although the NHL didn’t penalize Cole, Doughty was forced to miss six games.
"I've felt good for a little while now," Doughty told lakingsinsider.com. "It was just making sure I was perfectly ready to play. You don't want to mess around with stuff like that, so now that I've been good for a number of days, I'm really looking forward to playing."
Last night’s game versus the Tampa Bay Lightning (7-3-2) not only marked the defenseman’s return to the ice, but also the debut of a new piece of equipment.
Doughty, who played for 25 minutes, will now be sporting a mouth guard full-time to help protect against any future concussions.
"I'm not a fan of the mouth guard. I should be," Doughty told the L.A. Times. "I'm going to have to get used to it real quick here. Concussions are a bad thing."
The Kings, who still lead the Western Conference at 9-3-0, defeated the Lightning, 1-0.
L.A.’s only goal came from Justin Williams early in the third period and what a goal it was! Williams had a hard time controlling the puck after a pass from Ryan Smyth. He did a full spin, à la ballet, in front of the net before getting it past Tampa Bay goalie, Mike Smith. This was Williams' fourth consecutive point-scoring game.
The rest of the match proved to be a battle of goalies, as neither offense could make plays. Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for the shutout and Smith blocked 25.
The hit of the game came from Mattias Ohlund who flattened Kings captain Dustin Brown against the boards.
Ohlund received a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a ten-minute game misconduct.
The Kings revealed one of their weaknesses when they were unable to capitalize on the five-minute power play.
The Kings are fourth in the league in penalty kills but are 16th when it comes to power plays. L.A. was sloppy on the ice, showing better poise with five-on-five play.
The Kings are still undefeated on home ice at the Staples Center and hope to continue that streak against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
Everyone’s happy to have Doughty back on the ice, expecially because he proved that he is no worse for the wear.
To reach writer Sara Ramsey, click here.
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