The Kings were thin at center during Saturday’s morning skate, for a couple of reasons.
Missing were Anze Kopitar and Jarret Stoll. Kopitar and his wife Ines became parents for the first time, with Ines giving birth shortly after midnight to a girl, Neza. It is anticipated that Kopitar will play against Nashville Saturday night.
Stoll is out with an upper-body injury, according to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi. The injury appears to be a result of a questionable-looking hit from Canucks forward Derek Dorsett in the third period of Thursday’s game at Vancouver.
Not yet, Lombardi said via email.
The Kings did not skate on Friday. Earlier Saturday, Kings Coach Darryl Sutter declined to offer any specifics regarding Stoll.
“Less is more,” Sutter said.
Stoll has six goals and 15 points in 67 games and has not scored since Feb. 14. His spot in the lineup against Nashville will be taken by rookie center Andy Andreoff, who has appeared in only two games since Jan. 14.
Defenseman Alec Martinez took another step forward in terms of progress, taking part in the morning skate for the first time since he suffered a concussion Feb. 7 against Tampa Bay.
“Obviously, I’m feeling better because I’m out there,” he said. “I got some skating in and finally able to join the team today. That feels good. I kind of feel like you’re a part of things again.”
Martinez spoke about the Kings’ recent upward trend, saying it’s been fun to follow.
“Obviously, it’s a double-edged sword," he said. "You want to see your team do well and things like that, but it’s also hard being out because you want to be part of the team. You want to contribute. You want to play.
“Regardless of the type of injury, when you’re out, you want to get back in there. So it’s been both good and bad.”
For the record, he has not seen the video of the injury-causing hit by Cedric Paquette of the Lightning.
“I lived it,” Martinez said. “So I don’t need to watch it.”