Injured superstar defenseman Drew Doughty is set to see a team doctor tonight and the Kings expect him to travel with the team on their upcoming 3-game road trip. You may remember that he was injured in the first minute of play against the Philadelphia Flyers a week and a half ago when Zac Rinaldo lit him up with a clean, open-ice check. In keeping with tradition, the team announced it as an “upper body injury.” Since, there have been reports that say it was a slightly separated shoulder.
Doughty has been skating with the team over the last few days, but has not been cleared for contact yet. Tonight’s meeting with the team doctor will hopefully change that.
It’s not like the Kings have been hurting without Doughty in the lineup. After eventually winning beat the Flyers in overtime, the Kings were perfect on their recent three game homestand. By perfect, we mean more than just unbeaten. The team hasn’t given up a goal since that Flyers game as Jonathan Quick has dropped three straight shutouts.
Clearly, the key to the Kings success is getting that Doughty guy out of the lineup and replacing him with rookie Slava Voynov, right? Any way you cut it, the Kings have been one of the stronger team in the early going and they’re only going to get better when Doughty gets back into the lineup.
That sound you just heard was a groan from the other 14 teams in the Western Conference.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
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“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.