The Kings finally have some good news on the injury front. Alec Martinez, who missed two weeks with an upper body injury, appears close to joining the lineup.
The 25-year-old defenseman participated in his first full practice with the team since his injury. No decision on rosters has been made yet, but he will travel with the team to Vancouver.
Martinez "ready to go", understands it's a Darryl Sutter call. Bags are packed for Vancouver.— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) March 1, 2013
With both Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene out of the lineup, Martinez had been averaging almost 19 minutes a game, including 1:26 minutes/game on the PK. Since Scuderi has been paired with Voynov, it's possible he will be partnered with Doughty again.
The Kings are on a five game winning streak despite missing three regular defensemen, but Martinez's return would give the d-corps a boost in experience. Rookie Jake Muzzin and new pickup Keaton Ellerby had been splitting time as Doughty's partner, though neither had handled that level of competition before. Muzzin is currently getting more minutes than Ellerby, so perhaps Ellerby or Drewiske would sit.
Martinez's return wouldn't mean that someone gets sent back to Manchester, however. After the Gagne trade, Lombardi said the Kings plan to carry eight defensemen.
We will see if Martinez is ready to face the Canucks by Saturday.
Which pairings would you like to see once Martinez returns? Who should sit?