After missing five games with an upper body injury, defenseman Drew Doughty is expected to return to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night as they continue their road trip with a battle in the desert against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Kings have won five of their last six contests, including a 2-0 win over the Coyotes in Phoenix on October 20.
That win in Phoenix nine days ago was the second of three consecutive shutouts for Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who is 6-0-1 in seven starts this season. Quick has won his last five starts, allowing a total of five goals during that span. His .962 save percentage ranks second in the NHL.
As for Doughty, he left the game on October 15 against the Flyers in Philadelphia in the first period after absorbing a big hit from Zac Rinaldo. Rookie Viatcheslav Voynov played in five games in place of Doughty, and the 21-year old Voynov had two goals and an assist in the Kings' win over Dallas on Thursday night. It appears Voynov will get demoted upon Doughty's return, giving him the opportunity to play everyday in Manchester.
"I think what he’s got to know, from the coaches, is that he’s an NHL player," Kings coach Terry Murray told Rich Hammond of NHL.com. "That’s the bottom line on it, summing it up in a nutshell. He played very well every game. He’s showing the intensity, the readiness every shift.
The Kings trail the Dallas Stars by one point in the Pacific Division.
Saturday's 6 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Fox Sports West. For more Kings news and information, be sure to read Jewels From The Crown.