Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) battles Buffalo's Nathan Gerbe… (Thomas Peter / Reuters )
Wearing the yellow jersey, signaling no contact, marked Drew Doughty's moving one step closer to full-time duties patrolling the blue line.
Doughty practiced with his Kings teammates Monday in El Segundo, and there were indications he could return to the lineup this weekend.
"I was very encouraged to see him out there with the team today," Coach Terry Murray said. "There was no contact on him, and that's the way it will probably be for another few days."
The prized defenseman suffered an injury to his right shoulder during a game at Philadelphia on Oct. 15.
"I really wanted to test it out there today, but they sent me out there with no contact," Doughty said. "At the same time, it's a good thing I'm not rushing back. … You don't want to injure it and make it worse and be out for months."
The Kings are at Phoenix on Saturday and at Colorado on Sunday. Murray didn't think Doughty needed contact in practice before getting the green light to return, but Doughty thought testing it that way might be a good thing for him.
"I think it's something I definitely need, because you kind of need to test it before you get in a game," he said. "Because if I throw one cross-check or something like that and it's not comfortable anymore. ... I definitely need to get some practices in with contact before I play."