Clifford’s in­jury hurts line

Los Angeles Times - - NHL - By Curtis Zupke curtis.zupke@la­times.com

Kyle Clifford is week-toweek with an up­per-body in­jury, the Kings an­nounced Thurs­day.

Clifford was knocked out of Wed­nes­day’s game on a hit by Cal­gary Flames de­fense­man Michael Stone.

The in­jury is a blow to what has been an ef­fec­tive Kings fourth line of Clifford, Nick Shore and Trevor Lewis. They com­bined for two goals and two as­sists and car­ried a plus-four rat­ing through the first two games.

A re­call was not im­me­di­ately ex­pected. The Kings have Jonny Brodzin­ski and Nic Dowd as ex­tra for­wards. Brooks Laich is prac­tic­ing as an un­signed non-ros­ter player.

Alec Martinez fully par­tic­i­pated in prac­tice as he works back from a lower­body in­jury.

Kings coach John Stevens said it was a good sign but wouldn’t pre­dict if this week­end was a pos­si­bil­ity for the de­fense­man to re­turn.

In an­other in­jury up­date, gen­eral man­ager Rob Blake said that top for­ward prospect Gabe Vi­lardi “con­tin­ues to progress” from a back strain.

“He is per­form­ing in­creased lev­els of off-ice car­dio, lower body strength­en­ing as well as his core train­ing pro­gram,” Blake said in a re­lease.

Vi­lardi, 18, missed de­vel­op­ment camp in June and rookie camp and train­ing camp last month.

Doughty vs. Cal­gary, Part II

Video of Drew Doughty and Cal­gary’s Matthew Tkachuk shout­ing at each other from their penalty boxes im­me­di­ately went vi­ral. Doughty said he was up­set that Tkachuk took goal­tender Jonathan Quick’s mask off dur­ing a scrum.

The in­ci­dent fol­lows Tkachuk’s il­le­gal hit on Doughty last sea­son.

“I think they feel like if they get un­der my skin, it takes away from our team’s game,” Doughty said. “I don’t know if that’s true, but when they’re try­ing to get un­der my skin like that, it makes me hun­grier and want to play bet­ter. I like play­ing [ticked] off. I’m happy with that.”

Doughty did take ex­cep­tion to a hit from Cal­gary’s Michael Fro­lik as Doughty tossed the puck at the end boards.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought but it was still, 100%, a two-minute penalty,” Doughty said. “I was vul­ner­a­ble. I wasn’t able to brace my­self.

“The ref told me that I went down easy. For him to say that re­ally ticked me off be­cause I don’t un­der­stand how I can brace my­self when I’m throw­ing a puck in the air.”

Mark J. Ter­rill As­so­ci­ated Press

IN OB­VI­OUS DIS­COM­FORT, Kings for­ward Kyle Clifford goes to the ice af­ter be­ing in­jured on a hit by Cal­gary’s Michael Stone on Wed­nes­day.

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