Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and winger Dustin Brown, both stricken by flu, will be game-time decisions Saturday night for the encounter with the Ducks at Staples Center.
Neither player participated in the Kings’ morning skate at El Segundo, an optional session that most veterans skipped.
Quick and Brown both missed Friday’s practice because they were ill.
“We’ll see tonight,” Coach Darryl Sutter said Saturday morning when asked if one or both will be available to face the Ducks.
Sutter also said he didn’t know if Quick would be available to be the backup to Martin Jones. However, the team hadn’t called up another goalie by early afternoon.
Who would the backup be if Quick is too ill to dress?
“Billy Ranford,” Sutter said, referring to the Kings’ goaltending coach.
Just to be clear, he was joking.
The Ducks said defenseman Cam Fowler -- a teammate of Quick and Brown’s on the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the Sochi Games -- is questionable for Saturday’s matchup because of a lower-body injury. Fowler was hurt Friday night during the Ducks’ wild 6-4 victory at Colorado.
Brown said he will play it by ear when deciding if he will be in the lineup Saturday.
“I stayed in later for treatment and I’ll see how I feel later,” said Brown, who has discarded the knee brace he had been wearing to protect the knee he injured last season.
Brown said he didn’t feel ill during the Kings’ last game, a 3-2 loss to Toronto on Thursday in which Sutter benched him for much of the third period and said the line of Dwight King, Jarret Stoll and Brown had looked tired.
“I don’t know if ‘tired’ would be the right word I would use,” he said. “I thought coming out of the [Olympic] break we’d been really, really good as a line. I think the last game wasn’t nearly as good as the previous games. So, once you kind of set that bar, you’re expected to do it every night. And that’s a good thing. I think that’s been a big part of our success as a team.
“We’ve talked about it since the break, getting contributions from everyone and I think our line has been really good coming out of the break and last game we weren’t nearly as good.”
Sutter cut Brown’s ice time to 10 minutes and 12 seconds in the Toronto game. He’s averaging over 16 minutes a game in a season he concedes is far from his best, beyond his paltry 12 goals and 22 points in 66 games. “I haven’t had a very good year. I’m the first one to say that,” Brown said, adding that he thought he had been playing better since the Olympic break.
He also said he spoke briefly to Sutter about his reduced ice time.
“As a player you’re not happy, but he’s a coach and I’m a player and that’s how it works,” Brown said.
“It was just one of those things where, as a player, I feel I can contribute more. He thought our line was not as good. Ultimately it’s his call. That’s how it works.”
We'll soon find out how that continues to work.
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