LOS ANGELES -- The downside to the Los Angeles Kings playing seven defensemen is it cuts down the ice time for Drew Doughty, and the Norris Trophy candidate let it be known that didn't sit well with him.
Doughty played 23:29 in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks, his lowest since March 22, excluding the April 3 game that he left with an injured shoulder. Doughty doesn't see much use in going back to seven defensemen for Game 3 on Tuesday at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS, NBCSN, CSN-CA, PRIME).
"I think everyone gets out of rhythm when you dress seven D, for sure," Doughty said. "I only played 23 minutes. That's like the lowest I've played in who knows how long. I want to be playing 28-30 minutes. I didn't like it too much, but it's not my decision. Whatever they decide as a team, I just have to go along with it and accept. If they dress seven again tonight, I'm totally fine with it. I just have to play my game and make a difference out there."
The Kings did not do line rushes, but it seems unlikely they will use seven defensemen again given that Matt Greene was minus-4. Coach Darryl Sutter used seven in Game 2 because some players were banged up.
"We're in better position than we were in [the] last game to decide [that]," Sutter said. "Hopefully we [won't have to decide] after warm-up."
Doughty said he communicated his feelings to the coaches but understands certain situations.
"I know I'm not tired," he said. "I can play 40 minutes if they really want me to, and I'll be fine. I want to play every second, but it's just not possible."
The Kings recalled center Colin Fraser in an effort to counter San Jose's third- and fourth-line success in Game 2. Fraser was placed on waivers in February and sent to the American Hockey League. The center of an effective fourth line for the 2012 Stanley Cup champion Kings, Fraser said the demotion was difficult to take.
"It was the worst," Fraser said. "I've been in the League here six years in a row, and to be demoted -- nobody wants to be demoted, you know? That being said, it's part of the business and part of playing hockey too. [It's a] hold-your-head-high kind of thing and work hard … I'm a positive kind of guy and I'm still going to work hard."
Here are the projected lineups:
Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar –Justin Williams
Tyler Toffoli – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dwight King – Jarret Stoll – Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Trevor Lewis Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Robyn Regehr – Slava Voynov
Willie Mitchell – Alec Martinez
Scratched: Jordan Nolan, Tanner Pearson, Matt Greene
Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Matt Nieto
Tomas Hertl - James Sheppard - Tommy Wingels
Raffi Torres - Andrew Desjardins - Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Jason Demers
Brad Stuart - Justin Braun
Scott Hannan - Dan Boyle
Scratched: Matt Irwin, Matt Tennyson, Marty Havlat, Bracken Kearns, Tyler Kennedy
Injured: Adam Burish (hand)