Clifford was knocked out of Wednesday’s game on a hit by Calgary Flames defenseman Michael Stone. The injury is a blow to an effective Kings fourth line of Clifford, Nick Shore and Trevor Lewis. They combined for two goals and two assists and carried a plus-four rating through the first two games.
A recall was not immediately expected. The Kings have Jonny Brodzinski and Nic Dowd as extra forwards. Brooks Laich is practicing as a unsigned non-roster player.
Alec Martinez fully participated in practice as he works back from a lower-body injury. Kings coach John Stevens said it was a good sign but wouldn’t predict if this weekend was a possibility for the defenseman to return.
In another injury update, general manager Rob Blake said that top forward prospect Gabe Vilardi “continues to progress” from a back strain.
“He is performing increased levels of off-ice cardio, lower body strengthening as well as his core training program,” Blake said in a release.
Vilardi, 18, missed development camp in June and rookie camp and training camp last month.
Doughty vs. Calgary, Part II
The video of Drew Doughty and Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk shouting at each other from their penalty boxes immediately went viral. Doughty said he was upset that Tkachuk took goaltender Jonathan Quick’s mask off during a scrum.
The incident follows Tkachuk’s illegal hit on Doughty last season.
“I think they feel like if they get under my skin, it takes away from our team’s game,” Doughty said. “I don’t know if that’s true, but when they’re trying to get under my skin like that, it makes me hungrier and want to play better. I like playing [ticked] off. I’m happy with that.”
Doughty did take exception to a hit from Michael Frolik as Doughty tossed the puck at the end boards.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought but it was still, 100 percent, a two-minute penalty,” Doughty said. “I was vulnerable. I wasn’t able to brace myself. I was throwing the puck. The ref told me that I went down easy. For him to say that really ticked me off because I don’t understand how I can brace myself when I’m throwing a puck in the air.”
Follow Curtis Zupke on Twitter @curtiszupke