The Los Angeles Kings got a comfortable win last night against the Montreal Canadiens, but those two points may have come with a price attached. Today the team announced that top defenseman Drew Doughty would not be playing tonight’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He is out with a lower-body injury and his status is considered day-to-day.
The loss of Doughty is significant due to just how heavy of a role he has been playing on the Kings’ blueline. The 33-year-old Norris Trophy winner has 17 points in 30 games so far this year and is also shouldering by far the heaviest workload of minutes on the Kings’ roster. Doughty averages over 26 minutes per night, including three on the power play and two on the penalty kill. With Doughty out, Tobias Bjornfot looks set to step into the lineup.
For some other notes from across the NHL:
- Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau told the media today, via The Athletic’s Thomas Drance, that star centerman Elias Pettersson was sick today and was sent home from practice. While this is likely just a normal illness that anyone might deal with over the course of a winter, Pettersson’s health is a situation to monitor given his importance to the Canucks. In 28 games this season Pettersson has 34 points and has also played some of the best defensive hockey of his career.
- Just after they recently called him up, the Washington Capitals sent Dylan McIlrath back to the AHL’s Hershey Bears. This move takes away the possibility of McIlrath playing in his first NHL game since 2019-20. McIlrath has spent this season as a top-four defenseman in Hershey, scoring five points in 22 games.