LOS ANGELES—First, the bad news.
Justin Williams, the second-leading scorer for the Kings, left the game in obvious pain with about 9 ½ minutes remaining in the third period Monday night against the Calgary Flames and the top-line right wing wasn’t around to see his teammates rally for a 2-1 shootout victory at Staples Center.
Williams was checked into the left-wing boards by Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr and skated slowly to the bench favoring his right arm or shoulder. He sat hunched over on the bench for about 60 seconds before heading to the locker room.
Afterward, coach Terry Murray said Williams suffered an upper-body injury and was “not OK.”
“All I heard is he’ll get to see a doctor tomorrow and have an evaluation and see where he’s at,” Murray.
The Kings, who moved up one spot to fifth in the Western Conference standings, can ill afford to lose Williams for any stretch of time. They’re already struggling to produce offensively, owning just two goals in regulation in their last three games.
After suffering through three consecutive injury-plagued years, Williams was one of eight Kings who had appeared in every game this season, producing 22 goals and 35 assists. He was having his most productive season since 2006-07 with the Hurricanes.
As for the good news, Jonathan Quick improved to 8-0 in shootouts this season, giving up a first-round goal to Alex Tanguay before Rene Bourque hit the post and Curtis Glencross shot wide. In between, Jarret Stoll scored to improve to 7-of-8 on shootouts this season, and Anze Kopitar slipped one through the pads of goalie Mikka Kiprusoff.
“It’s pretty easy when the team scores two out of three,” Quick said. “They’ve been scoring goals all year in the shootout like that and it makes it a lot easier on my part.”
It won't get any easier if the Kings have to continue very long without Williams, one of the few dynamic offensive players on the team. They'll have a couple days to adjust, as they don't play again until Thursday against San Jose at Staples Center.