Friday, December 2, 2011
Updated: December 3, 6:27 PM ET
Mike Richards, Willie Mitchell out
By Dan Arritt
The Los Angeles Kings are expected to be without leading goal scorer Mike Richards and veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell for several games after both were injured in Thursday night's game against Florida, coach Terry Murray confirmed after practice Friday.
The Kings were scheduled to host the Montreal Canadiens Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.
Richards, the hottest offensive player on a team that's 24th in the league in scoring, did not come out for the third period after taking a shoulder from Panthers left winger Sean Bergenheim late in the second. The Kings placed Richards on injured reserve Friday night, but did not put Mitchell on IR.
Mitchell, one of the Kings' top shutdown defensemen and penalty killers, played one shift in the first period before returning to the locker room with a lower-body injury.
Richards, acquired by the Kings in a blockbuster trade with the Philadelphia Flyers last summer, did not go down after being spun around in the collision. Richards followed Bergenheim on the ice, trying to get his attention for a possible fight, but instead was called for slashing.
Richards and Bergenheim then came together, and Bergenheim threw a forearm that appeared to catch Richards in the head area. Kings center Jarret Stoll then jumped in and all three players were assessed roughing penalties, putting Richards in the penalty box for four minutes.
The second period ended with 52 seconds still remaining on the penalty, but when the third period resumed Trent Hunter had taken Richards' place in the box. After the game, it was reported Richards had an upper-body injury.
Bergenheim did not receive any subsequent discipline from the league for his hit on Richards.
Richards has missed just four regular-season games in the past three seasons. He missed two games in December 2005 because of a head injury.
Murray said left wing Dustin Penner is ready to return after missing the past nine games with a hand injury. Penner was activated off IR on Friday.
Dan Arritt covers the NHL for ESPNLosAngeles.com.