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Kings Notebook (Oct. 21)

by Rich Hammond / Los Angeles Kings
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The news wasn't great for the Kings on Thursday, in terms of Drew Doughty's upper-body injury. General manager Dean Lombardi told LAKings.com that Doughty will be out of action ``at least a week.''


Doughty had to leave Wednesday's game after the first period, after a hit from Carolina's Erik Cole late in the period.

Video appeared to show Cole taking a couple strides toward Doughty and delivering a lateral hit, well after Doughty had played the puck in the neutral zone. As of Thursday afternoon, the NHL had not issued any discipline to Cole.

``Going back through the game (video), it's there,'' Kings coach Terry Murray said Thursday morning. ``Doughty had moved the puck a considerable time before the hit, that's for sure. He was four or five feet on his own side of the red line. I don't have the TV look, that real close look, to see exactly how it all shakes out. It's unfortunate. It's a hit that, I guess, happens in a game.''

The Kings have not disclosed the nature, or seriousness, of Doughty's injury, and Doughty did not accompany the team to Phoenix for the start of their five-game road trip. After Wednesday's game, Murray left open the possibility that Doughty might join the Kings later in the trip, but that seems less likely now.

Peter Harrold, who had been a healthy scratch in the Kings' first five games, will take Doughty's lineup spot tonight when the Kings play the Coyotes.

The Kings certainly will be challenged without Doughty, a Norris Trophy finalist from last season who excels in all areas of the game and plays in all situations.

``You don't change your system or your structure,'' Murray said. ``The guys who are playing, we're not asking them to take on Doughty's style of play. We want to keep everyone playing their own game and moving the puck.''

Matt Greene, who on Wednesday night received medical clearance to play, following July shoulder surgery, might soon return to the lineup, but Murray said, ``I feel Greener just needs a few more days of work on the ice.''

GOING BACK IN
After a different look for Wednesday's game, the Kings will go back to a fourth line of center Brayden Schenn and wingers Brad Richardson and Kevin Westgarth.

Kyle Clifford and Trevor Lewis will go back to being healthy scratches, with Schenn and Westgarth returning to the lineup. Lewis and Clifford each played just over seven minutes Wednesday and both had minus-1 ratings.

GETTING THERE
The Kings went 0-for-4 on the power play against Carolina on Wednesday, and have now failed to score a power-play goal in four consecutive games, but Murray said he saw signs of improvement.

The Kings did generate five power-play shots on goal. In their previous three games, the Kings had generated a total of only three power-play shots on goal.

``I thought we had some good looks,'' Murray said. ``We had a great look on one play that was taken hard to the net, with Kopi. With the offensive-zone time, we moved it around. The ice was a little bit of a factor in the power-play situations last night, and maybe in the whole game. There were a lot of bouncing, rolling pucks. I could not believe how it got, so fast, to that look. That always plays a part when you're trying to play a skill game.''

BEWARE OF COYOTES
The Kings had a solid showing against the Coyotes last season, with a 3-2-1 record, but the Coyotes' speed has given the Kings problems in recent years.

Coming off a game against Carolina in which the Kings got sloppy at times, and ended up trading offensive chances, Murray was mindful of playing a solid defensive game against the up-tempo Coyotes.

``I think we're going to see the same kind of a game that we saw last night with Carolina,'' Murray said. ``They're a transition team. That's where we put ourselves in a little bit of a situation last night, where the game was harder than it should have been because of managing the puck through the middle of the ice.

``There were a lot of transitions that came at us. They were flooding the ice with quick-ups, and this is the way that we're going to see the game tonight, I believe, if we're not managing the puck the right way.''

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