Unfortunate news coming from the L.A. Kings as their defenseman Drew Doughty will not be able to play for the rest of the season due to his wrist surgery.
According to the team, Doughty underwent surgery on Monday. He’ll be ready for training camp, but his absence hurts the Kings’ chances of putting an end to their three-year playoff skid.
Defenseman Drew Doughty underwent successful wrist surgery today & will not return this season.
He is expected to make a full recovery for next season. pic.twitter.com/vNtgSZ1fS9
— LA Kings (@LAKings) April 11, 2022
Doughty was hurt in a game against the Boston Bruins on March 7, and he hasn’t played in 16 straight games since March 10. In a 14-year NHL career spent completely with the Kings, the defender has seldom battled with severe injury issues, but this season, he played in a career-low 39 games.
L.A Kings’ past record
With seven goals and 24 assists, Doughty is the Kings’ leading scorer among defensemen. His absence has forced the Kings to rely on untested replacements on the blue line, and the Kings’ late-season decline has been exacerbated by lackluster defensive performance.
The Kings (38-26-10) have dropped three straight games and ten of their past 19 coming into Tuesday night’s matchup versus the Chicago Blackhawks. Kings is third in the Pacific Division, but their advantage over fourth-place Vegas has reduced to two points, with the Golden Knights having a game in hand.
Kings to continue to fight
Despite blowing a 3-0 lead in a 6-3 away defeat to Minnesota on Sunday, Los Angeles (38-26-10, 86 points) enters Monday in third place in the Pacific Division, Four points behind the Edmonton Oilers and two points in front of the Vegas Golden Knights, who have each played one fewer game.
“They’re good teams. They’re fighting for playoffs, too,” said center Philip Danault. “We’ve got to regroup here and make sure we’re ready for the next game, and we can’t put our heads down too much. It’s hard enough, but we’ve got to find ways.”
The Kings have dropped three consecutive games against the Blackhawks (24-37-11, 59 points) in the second of a three-game road trip that finishes Wednesday in Colorado, which leads the Western Conference.
Tuesday presents a golden opportunity to pick up a much-needed two points against the Blackhawks team that has gone 0-5-2 in its last seven games.
However, the Minnesota Wild had already lost two games in a row (0-1-1) before Sunday and had fallen behind the Kings 3-0 just 10:17 into the game. Kings, on the other hand, was unable to sustain Rasmus Kupari’s, Carl Grundstrom’s, and Adrian Kempe’s early scoring frenzy.
“You score a power-play goal, you score a short-handed goal, you get a 3-0 lead on the road, there’s no reason why you’re not in it at the end of the night, and we weren’t,” Kings’ coach Todd McLellan said. “Really disappointing.”
Preparing for the Blackhawks
The season series between the Kings and the Blackhawks will finish on April 21 in Los Angeles. On March 24, the visiting Blackhawks defeated the Kings 4-3 in a shootout, marking the Blackhawks’ most recent victory.
In its most recent game, the Blackhawks also let up a half-dozen goals, a 6-4 home loss to the Dallas Stars on Sunday. This proves that the team can be beatable and the Kings might have a shot at winning against them.