Kings defenceman Doughty sidelined by upper-body injury on hit from Carolina’s Cole

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Defenceman Drew Doughty will miss the Los Angeles Kings’ upcoming game at Phoenix after sitting out the final two periods of their 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night because of an upper-body injury.

Coach Terry Murray said the 20-year-old Norris Trophy finalist won’t play Thursday night against the Coyotes, but might join the Kings later on their five-game trip.

Murray said Doughty was hurt late in the first period on a neutral-zone hit by Carolina’s Erik Cole. Doughty didn’t return to the bench for the second period, but Murray wouldn’t disclose the nature of the injury.

“The puck had long gone,” Murray said of the hit. “He didn’t have the puck for a long time before that happened.”

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Doughty has just one assist in Los Angeles’ first five games, but the young defenceman is a cornerstone of the revitalized Kings, who have four wins in five games to open the season.

Doughty had 16 goals and 43 assists last season, blossoming into an elite defenceman in just his second NHL season. He became the second-youngest nominee for the Norris Trophy in NHL history, only older than 19-year-old Bobby Orr in 1967.

The second overall pick in the 2008 draft also won a gold medal last February at the Vancouver Olympics. Doughty was Canada’s youngest player.