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Drew Doughty's performance evaluated after Kings' weekend games

The defenseman, who sat out two weeks because of an injured right shoulder, played at Phoenix and Colorado and was a minus-two and had one assist against the Avalanche.

November 01, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has played in two games since returning from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for two weeks.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has played in two games since returning from… (Chris Humphreys / U.S. Presswire )

For Drew Doughty, the weekend reviews were almost as expected after having missed two weeks because of an injured right shoulder.

The defenseman played at Phoenix on Saturday and at Colorado the following day and was a minus-two and had one assist in the Kings' loss to the Avalanche.

"Drew has played with a great deal of 'I-want-to-do-it,' '' Coach Terry Murray said after practice Tuesday. "And he wants to make a difference every time he is on the ice every shift, and sometimes you can get yourself into a little bit of a jackpot when you go into that with that attitude.

"I understand where he's coming from: the importance of him having the puck and trying to do a lot of good things with it. But when you come back from being out for a little while, it is better sometimes to do less. Advance the puck, get it off your stick, get it up to the forwards, let them screw up instead of you."

Said Doughty: "I thought I wasn't my best in the first game. Struggled, tried to do too much, but in the second game I thought I played well. … I know I'm going to improve with time. It takes a little while to get back into the game after being injured."

He was hurt at Philadelphia on Oct. 15, so Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers will be his regular-season debut at Staples Center. Another home debut, if you will.

"I guess I played in two home games but they were overseas, so they really weren't home games at all. I'm really excited to play in front of the home crowd," Doughty said.

Gagne improves

There was more good news on the injury front. Left wing Simon Gagne, who missed the weekend games because of an undisclosed injury, was able to get through practice successfully on Tuesday.

Murray planned to talk to Gagne afterward for an assessment but expected he would be ready to play against the Oilers. That means Murray plans to keep Dustin Penner on the third line with Jarret Stoll and Brad Richardson.

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