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Kings' Doughty reaches milestone 400th NHL game

by Curtis Zupke

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty came into the NHL at such a young age it's easy to overlook this is his sixth season. Doughty turned 24 this month and even he didn't realize that Thursday will be his 400th game.

"Don’t tell anyone," Doughty said, joking.

Doughty has been remarkably durable since he came into the League at 19. He has missed only 12 regular-season games and played in 50 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"Time has flown by," Doughty said. "It just seems like yesterday I was 18 and I was in my first year in the League. I've had so much fun. I've still got a long, healthy road ahead of me and I'm looking forward to continue it here in L.A.

"It's crazy. I can't believe how much fun I've had in this League and how much fun I've had with this team. I've developed so many relationships with the guys off the ice. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else."

Doughty will get another matchup Thursday with boyhood friend Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks. The friendly rivalry has been elevated in recent years and Doughty still enjoys it. Couture, 24, has 15 points in 19 career games against L.A.

"I enjoy beating him, that's for sure," Doughty said. "I don't like losing to him. A lot of times I don't really get matched up against him. I'm always against [Joe] Thornton so I don't see a lot of him on the ice. But when I do I'm aware that he's a great player in this League now."

Here are the expected lineups for the Kings and Sharks:


Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Marty Havlat

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns

James Sheppard - Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels

Tyler Kennedy - Andrew Desjardins - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle

Brad Stuart - Scott Hannan

Antti Niemi

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Matt Nieto, Jason Demers

Injured: Raffi Torres (knee), Adam Burish (lower body)


Dwight KingAnze KopitarJeff Carter

Dustin BrownJarret StollJustin Williams

Trevor LewisMike RichardsTyler Toffoli

Kyle CliffordColin FraserJordan Nolan

Jake MuzzinDrew Doughty

Robyn RegehrSlava Voynov

Alec MartinezMatt Greene

Martin Jones

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Linden Vey, Matt Frattin, Daniel Carcillo

Injured: Willie Mitchell (upper body)

NOTES: Jones was off the ice first. He will be going for his third straight home shutout to start his career. He has not allowed a goal on 40 shots in his two previous home starts, against the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers.

Vey, Frattin, Carcillo and Mitchell stayed out with the extras. That likely means Fraser will be activated after a stint on injured reserve.

Mitchell appears to be a ways away from returning from an upper-body injury.

"Today was a great step as far as going through things and figuring what you can and can't do," Mitchell said Wednesday. "There's a few things in practice that always hurt, but then you get in the game and the adrenaline gets going and it kind of goes away a little bit too. It will be exciting to progress … and hopefully get back at it real soon."

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