One of the key themes in the Kings locker room following last night’s 2-1 win was the difficulty they faced after losing two key players through the course of the game – Mike Richards and Willie Mitchell.
Although coach Terry Murray didn’t have much information on the extent of their injuries following the game, an update is expected later this morning.
Mitchell left the game after only one shift, with what the team is calling a ‘lower body injury.’
Richards was hit hard in the head by the shoulder of Sean Bergenheim (video here). Moments later there was a scrum involving both players, Richards spent time in the penalty box and then didn’t return for the third period.
Many of the Kings players were passing out praise after seeing their teammates stick up for each other and continuing to push back – and often leading the way – with the physical play.
As a team, the Kings had 45 hits, compared to 18 for the Panthers.
During coach Murray’s post game presser, he also pointed out a different pair of players…
Murray on the pass that set up Dustin Brown‘s goal – “Great goal, actually, to win the game…Voynov made a great play, that’s a hard play. Brownie’s a right hand shot and he’s going away. To find the stick with a hard pass like that, the window was very small and you have to be a good player to find that. It was a great pass.”
Murray on Brown – “He had some good looks there tonight, coming off that left wing side. He does enjoy it. He likes that move. It gets him to that kind of attack, more consistently. So, he’s sending me a message, I guess.”
Not only did Brown end up with the game winning goal, he also finshed with six hits, a season high.
And Slava Voynov? He too was credited with six hits – double what he’s had in any game prior.