73°F
weather icon Clear

NHL suspends Kings’ Drew Doughty for Game 2 vs. Golden Knights

Updated April 12, 2018 - 7:34 pm

Every good playoff rivalry needs an antagonist. A heel. A villain.

Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty is auditioning for the part.

The Kings defenseman received a one-game suspension Thursday from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, and Doughty’s illegal check to the head of Golden Knights forward William Carrier during Game 1 is the first major flash point in this Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Doughty and Kings coach John Stevens are expected to comment on the suspension Friday.

“I think when things like that happen you’ve just got to continue moving forward,” Knights center Cody Eakin said. “I think you get worked up about them or start thinking about them too much, you stray away from your game a little bit.

“We’re playing strong, hard on the forecheck, finishing checks when they’re there and not going out of our way to chase guys down the ice and it was effective for us, so we’re going to try to continue the same.”

Doughty delivered a crunching check midway through the third period of the Knights’ 1-0 victory on Wednesday, which caused Carrier to faceplant to the ice like a woozy MMA fighter.

Doughty, who was not penalized on the play, had a hearing with Player Safety on Thursday afternoon.

“Doughty delivers a high, forceful hit that makes Carrier’s head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable. This is an illegal check to the head,” the league said in announcing the suspension.

“It is important to note that while Doughty’s first point of contact is with Carrier’s arm, the illegal check to the head rule does not take into account what the first point of contact is.”

Carrier, who dished out several punishing hits throughout the opening game, did not return and was evaluated for a concussion.

He did not participate in the Knights’ optional skate Thursday at City National Arena. Coach Gerard Gallant said Carrier is day to day with an upper-body injury.

“We’ve had some history, I guess, with these guys and those hits,” Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb said of his former team. “We’re in playoff mode. It’s all about wins. We’re going to be hard on guys if we have the opportunity, but we’re not going to go out of our way to do anything stupid or take penalties.”

The Knights faced a similar dilemma against Los Angeles during a home-and-home series in late February when forward Oscar Lindberg was blindsided near center ice by Kings winger Kyle Clifford in the first period and suffered a concussion.

The Knights spent much of that game and the one after trying to exact retribution, and Los Angeles won both times.

If Carrier can’t go in Game 2, Gallant could insert rugged forward Ryan Reaves onto the fourth line or opt for the faster — but less physical — Oscar Lindberg.

The possible return of wing David Perron for Game 2 further complicates Gallant’s decisions. Should Perron play Friday, add Ryan Carpenter and Alex Tuch to the list of potential fourth-line wings.

“It heats you up a little bit because you know that if I’m in that game, I’d probably try and go do something about it, or maybe I can calm that situation down,” Reaves said. “A lot the times, just being able to get a good, clean hit on a (defenseman) or just a good, clean hit on anybody is enough to calm the game down knowing that I’m running around a little bit.”

The loss of Doughty, a Norris Trophy candidate, is a blow for an already-thin Los Angeles defense corps, which was missing Derek Forbort and Jake Muzzin for Game 1 and struggled to contain the Knights’ speedy forwards.

Doughty played a game-high 28:02 in the opener and spent the majority of his ice time matched against the Knights’ top line of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith.

“It’s going to be tough if we don’t have him,” Kings defenseman Oscar Fantenberg said prior to Doughty’s suspension being handed down. “He’s the best defenseman in the league, so it wouldn’t be easy. Everybody would have to step up and give us those good minutes in his place.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Alex Tuch And Nate Schmidt Return To The Ice - Video
Alex Tuch and Nate Schmidt return to practice as the team becomes more energized after their win against the Anaheim Ducks.
Golden Knights Watch Party At Las Vegas Ballpark - Video
The Golden Knights host a watch party at the Las Vegas Ballpark where fans gathered to watch the game against the Pittsburg Penguins.
Golden Edge Mailbag | October 17th, 2019
The Review-Journal's Ben Gotz and Cassie Soto are back for a new rendition of the Golden Edge mailbag! Send in your VGK questions, and they'll answer them live on the stream.
Malcom Subban Day-To-Day, Gallant Talks Golden Knights' Goaltenders - VIDEO
After suffering an undisclosed lower body injury in a loss to the Arizona Coyotes, Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban was announced as having a day-to-day injury when head coach Gerard Gallant spoke about his goaltenders after practice.
Golden Knights lose 4-1 to Coyotes - VIDEO
The Golden Knights lost 4-1 to the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale. VGK Goalie Malcolm Subban exited the game early with an injury and is Day-to-day.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant knows Coyotes are "very aggressive" - Video
The Golden Knights will head to Arizona to face the Coyotes on Thursday with hopes to bounce back from Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Bruins. Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant is fully aware that the Coyotes are a very aggressive team and knows his guys will have to match that speed.
Golden Knights Feast on Shark - Video
After swimming with (and defeating) the Sharks in their first two games of the season, the entire Vegas Golden Knights team feasted on their fair share of seafood at Zuma Las Vegas inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Golden Knights Greet Fans At Gold Carpet - Video
The Golden Knights walk the gold carpet before puck drop at their season opener against the San Jose Sharks at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights Hold Private Practice, Lunch for 1 October First Responders - Video
The Golden Knights held a private practice at City National Arena for first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and guests who were affected by the 1 October events. After practice, guests were able to meet the Golden Knights themselves to take pictures and get autographs.
Golden Knights Prepare to Honor Those Affected by 1 October - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams upcoming practice which will honor those affected by the events on October 1, 2017. The team has invited guests including first responders, Mandalay Bay employees and others who were impacted. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon Discusses Roster Updates - VIDEO
Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon discusses the teams roster and key injuries ahead of Opening Day (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Golden Knights Max Pacioretty on the Golden Edge Podcast - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty joins the Golden Edge podcast to talk about the upcoming season for the Knights, the rivalry with the Sharks and the Pacioretty 67 burger.
Golden Knights Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin Injured in Preseason Loss to Kings
The Golden Knights not only lost to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Friday night, the team also saw Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin head off the ice with injuries. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz give an update on the players injuries as well as discuss what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Suffer Second Preseason Loss to the Kings - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's second loss of the preseason, this time to the LA Kings 3-2. Head coach Gerard Gallant knows his team got off to a sloppy start but was impressed with the final effort.
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves wants to play in the pre-season - VIDEO
Golden Knights Forward Ryan Reaves talks about coming back from an injury and a possible long term deal with the team. September 26, 2019.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gallant speaks on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant speaks after practice on September 26, 2019, on injuries and cuts before last two pre-season games.
Golden Knights Suffer First Preseason Loss to Avalanche, 4-1 - Video
The Golden Knights suffered the team's first preseason loss, after falling to the Avalanche 4-1. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz break down what went wrong for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights React to First Preseason Loss - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant called the first loss of the preseason a "team loss" that was "tough to watch."
Paul Stastny On Playing More Games - Video
Golden Knights forward Paul Stastny talks about preparing for the regular season and playing more games before the season starts.
Golden Knights Nate Schmidt Talks About Seeking Change With PED Testing - Video
The Golden Knights wrap up their practice for the day and Nate Schmidt hoping to see changes to PED testing.
Nate Schmidt On Wanting Change With PED Testing - Video
Nate Schmidt speaks about wanting to see change with PED testing in the NHL.
Fleury and Marchessault Play Heads Up - Video
Golden Knights Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Marchessault play heads up VGK edition.
Aliens invade City National Arena for competition - VIDEO
Aliens attended the City National Arena for a competition to see who was best dressed. The prize was out of this world. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights rally to beat Kings in OT, 3-2
The Golden Knights were down 2-0 halfway through the third period, but two quick goals helped get the team back on track to beat the Kings 3-2 in overtime.
Golden Knights' Deryk Engelland Shares Advice with Rookies - Video
Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland has some advice for rookies: “Stick with what got you there.” The veteran NHL player also recalls his first goal as a pro.
Golden Knights Continue Preseason Success with Win Over Avalanche - Video
The Golden Knights prospects are continuing to prove they are worthy of a starting position, this time with a shutout 5-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant Praises Prospects - Video
A day after the Golden Knights 6-2 preseason victory over the Arizona Coyotes, head coach Gerard Gallant discussed how impressed he is with the prospects, including defensemen Nicolas Hague and Dylan Coghlan.
Golden Knights On First Preseason Win - Video
The Golden Knights talk about their first preseason win including Max Pacioretty's hat trick and putting Malcolm Subban as the goaltender for tonight's game.
Golden Knights Zamboni Lessons 101 - Video
The Golden Knights preseason tips off on Sunday, Sept. 15 and you know what that mean, it's time to roll out the zamboni! Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a zamboni operator for the Golden Knights? Golden Edge host Cassie Soto finds out!
Allegiant Unveils Golden Knights Plane - Video
Allegiant air officially unveils its new Golden Knights airbus that will take to the skies soon.
Golden Knights Rookie Camp: 3 Takeaways - Video
Vegas Golden Knights rookies took to the ice on Friday morning for practice at City National Arena. While the rookies mainly participated in drills, it was good to see the prospects get ice time. Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz discuss their three takeaways from the practice.
THE LATEST