Mitchell, Ponikarovsky Both Out A Month For Kings

The Los Angels Kings, co-owners of the best record in the NHL, got some bad news today with a pair of broken bones. Both defenseman Willie Mitchell and left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky will miss significant time with injuries. Both injuries occurred in the Kings' 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night. The Kings announced the Mitchell injury via Twitter:

Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell expected to miss four to six weeks with fractured wrist

Rudy Kelly on Battle of California speculated on what the Kings would do in Mitchell's absence:

The Kings probably call up Jake Muzzin. The Kings moved Davis Drewiske up alongside Drew Doughty when Mitchell initially got hurt on Saturday against the Predators but I doubt that's a long-term solution. The Kings have a clear top-4: Doughty, Rob Scuderi, Jack Johnson, and Matt Greene. Terry Murray seems to err on the side of caution with his defensive pairings so I see him trying Johnson-Doughty with Scuderi-Greene as a safety net. Scuderi can jump up with Johnson occasionally while Drewiske takes a shift with Doughty.

In addition, Ponikarovsky is out four weeks with a broken finger, per Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times:

The Kings, who did not practice on Monday, did not immediately put either player on injured reserve or call anyone up. If a move takes place it's likely to happen Tuesday.

The Kings' next game is Thursday night against the Dallas Stars, at Staples Center.

For more Kings news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Jewels From the Crown.

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