After a winless three-game trip through Eastern Canada last week, the Kings suffered another setback Monday as forward Trevor Lewis was put on injured reserve because of a lower-body injury.
Lewis, 32, exited the Kings’ loss last Thursday to the Ottawa Senators minutes into the first period. He did not return that night and was scratched two days later when the team fell to the Montreal Canadiens.
Describing Lewis’ injury, Kings coach Todd McLellan told reporters Saturday, “It’s probably a little bit longer than what we originally anticipated, so he’ll need some time to recover.”
The Kings — who have only one win in their last eight games and are in last place in the NHL with a 5-11-1 record — have been shuffling their lines on offense since Lewis’ injury. For most of the season, the right winger had been paired with Kyle Clifford on the left side, giving the team a reliable veteran duo in the bottom six of its lineup.
Though Lewis had only two points and a minus-three rating in 16 games this season, his 57.1 Corsi For percentage (a puck-possession metric that measures the proportion of a team’s number of shots for and against while a player is on the ice) was best among Kings players with more than five appearances this season, according to Hockey-Reference.com.
“I’ve played with Cliffy ever since I’ve been here,” Lewis, a former first-round pick in 2006, said earlier this season. “We’ve played together for a long time.”
Without Lewis, wingers Tyler Toffoli and Dustin Brown rotated in with Clifford and center Michael Amadio last Thursday. On Saturday, Ilya Kovalchuk joined their line.
Lewis, who is in the final year of his contract and could be a potential trade candidate this season, joins defenseman Derek Forbort on the team’s injured reserve list. Forbort has been out all season with a back injury and only recently resumed limited, individual skating sessions.
The Kings did not immediately announce any corresponding roster move after putting Lewis on injured reserve, leaving 22 players (including 13 forwards) on their NHL squad.
If it chooses to make a recall from the minor leagues, the club has several young prospects currently playing with its American Hockey League affiliate, the Ontario Reign, notably including Matt Luff (10 points in 13 AHL games), Jaret Anderson-Dolan (seven points in 14 AHL games), and Rasmus Kupari (four points in 14 AHL games). Offseason signings Martin Frk (11 points in 12 AHL games) and Mario Kempe (10 points in 14 AHL games) are also two of the Reign’s top three leading scorers.
The Kings open a three-game homestand Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild.