The Los Angeles Kings are technically still alive in the West Division playoff race, but will have to complete the final five games of the season without Dustin Brown. The veteran forward has been ruled out for the rest of the year with an upper-body injury he suffered earlier in the year. The Kings released a statement indicating that he will “continue to undergo treatment and rehabilitation.”
Brown, 36, has had a very strong season for the Kings, scoring 17 goals and 31 points in 49 games. That matches the goal total he had last year in 66 games and actually leads the kings, three ahead of Adrian Kempe. He was part of both wins against the Arizona Coyotes this week that kept the Kings’ playoff hopes alive, playing 17:41 on Wednesday. That will end up being his last appearance of at least the regular season.
The Kings, who sit at 21-24-6 on the season, are eight points back of the St. Louis Blues with five games left, meaning they likely won’t make the playoffs for a third consecutive season. The team hasn’t had a winning record since 2017-18, John Stevens’ only full year as head coach. Brown has been effective but will turn 37 in November and has just one year left on his current contract, meaning the end of his time in Los Angeles is coming soon, one way or another.