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Kings' odds and ends, from Drew Doughty to Jack Johnson

January 15, 2009 |  8:30 pm

Brad Richardson Center Brad Richardson, who suffered a lacerated foot on Dec. 2 and hasn't played since, was assigned to Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League for a conditioning stint.

Raitis Ivanans didn't play against the Red Wings tonight, but a club spokesman said it was because of a coach's decision and not an injury. Another healthy scratch was Kevin Westgarth, who had been summoned from Manchester on Wednesday.

Defenseman Drew Doughty was scratched because of the thigh bruise he suffered on Tuesday. Coach Terry Murray said after this morning's skate that he didn't anticipate Doughty's injury would become a long-term problem.

"It's a thigh contusion. I guess you could define it almost as a charley horse," he said. "He's probably doubtful for the weekend here, but as we get to the last couple of games before the All-Star break I'm anticipating some good news then."

Murray also said he's hopeful that defenseman Jack Johnson, who underwent shoulder surgery in October, will return to the lineup during the Kings' upcoming trip to Dallas, Minnesota and Colorado. Johnson's original return was scheduled for after the All-Star break.

"I'm thinking about it. When I'm writing down the defense pairings I keep writing his name in there now," Murray said. "He's very close. He's confident and getting more confidence every day. He's doing all the work on the one-on-one battles down there [in practice] and that means a lot for him to be able to feel at the end of the day that the soreness is not as much as what it was."

The decision will be up to Johnson, and he should be absolutely certain he's ready before he puts a uniform on again. As a young guy who has previously had trouble with his shoulder, he doesn't need to take any foolish risks now.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Brad Richardson, seen here during a game in October. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

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