No sign of Kings center Brad Richardson on Friday morning, a few hours after he was struck on the chin by the elbow of Calgary forward Brendan Morrison. Richardson looked dazed and wobbly as he skated off the Staples Center ice during the first period of the 2-1 victory Thursday night and did not return.
The Kings have officially labeled Richardson’s ailment an upper-body injury, and coach Terry Murray sounded doubtful that Richardson would be able to play Saturday night against the visiting Minnesota Wild.
"I don’t know about tomorrow after missing today," Murray said. "That might not be an option for me."
His availability became even more doubtful a couple hours later, when the Kings announced they recalled 21-year-old Oscar Moller from from their AHL affiliate in Manchester. Moller, a second-round draft choice in 2007, was the third-leading scorer for the Monarchs with 17 points. He’s no stranger to the NHL, having played 74 games for the Kings over the last two seasons.
Richardson has just four goals this season–getting three in one game at Colorado last month–but provides high energy and a veteran presence on the fourth line. Against the Flames, the Kings had welcomed back third-line left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky, who missed 12 games with a broken finger.
The Kings are close to getting back a key member of their defensive unit. Willie Mitchell suffered a fractured left wrist Nov. 6 against Nashville, the same game that Ponikarovsky was injured. He has practiced with the team the last two days.
Mitchell has yet not tested the wrist with a slap shot, but said he believes he’ll return to the lineup during the first half of a five-game road trip that begins Monday in Detroit.
"I’m looking forward to getting back going, that’s for sure," he said.
He said he doesn’t expect the injury to linger.
"Sure, you’re’ going t play with some pain for a couple weeks," he said. "It’ll go away after a while."