As the Los Angeles Kings try to hold on to the fourth spot (and home-ice advantage) in the Western Conference standings as they play the final two games of the regular season, they will have to do so without their captain, Dustin Brown. Following a review of his elbow to the head of Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville in Tuesday night’s game, Brown was suspended for two games and won’t be back to help the Kings until the playoffs start. Brown was not assessed a penalty on the play when it happened.
Brown’s absence puts some added pressure on the Kings’ leading goal scorer Jeff Carter (26 goals), as well as on Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar. The Kings take on the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night before finishing out the season on Saturday by facing the San Jose Sharks team they are desperately trying to hold off in the standings. Brown has 18 goals and 29 points for the Kings this season, and will be missed on the power play. Eight of his goals and 13 of his points have come with the man-advantage, trailing only Richards and Kopitar in power play scoring.
Pominville has four goals and nine points for the Wild since coming over in a trade deadline deal, and is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Losing him could be a huge blow to a Minnesota team desperately trying to clinch a playoff spot, and would make things very interesting should the two teams cross paths in the postseason.