Drew Doughty Suspended 1 Game for Check on William Carrier in Playoffs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05:  Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings passes the puck during the second  period of a game against the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center on April 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings lost Game 1 of their playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights and will be short-handed as they attempt to come back in the first-round battle.

On Thursday, the Kings announced the NHL had suspended defenseman Drew Doughty for one game. The punishment comes as a result of Doughty's illegal check to William Carrier's head during the third period of Vegas' 1-0 victory, although there wasn't a penalty called.

This is a significant loss for the Kings as they prepare for Friday's Game 2 considering Doughty is a durable cog and blue-line leader.

He played all 82 regular-season games for the fourth season in a row and tallied a career-best 60 points behind 10 goals and 50 assists. The effort marked his sixth season with at least 40 points.

Los Angeles relies on its defense and finished first in the NHL in goals against and penalty-kill percentage during the 2017-18 campaign. However, it is also dealing with the absence of Jake Muzzin, who has been sidelined since March 26 with an upper-body injury.

Facing the Golden Knights on the road to start a playoff series is a tall enough task, but the Kings will be fighting an uphill battle after this suspension.

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