Kings right wing Justin Williams will miss at least three to four weeks with a dislocated shoulder, leaving Los Angeles without its second-leading scorer in the midst of the playoff race.
Kings coach Terry Murray announced Williams’ diagnosis on Tuesday morning, but stopped short of saying Williams was done for the season. Williams plans to rest the injury before attempting to play in the postseason wearing a harness, hoping to avoid surgery.
The veteran forward left the Kings’ home game against Calgary on Monday night midway through the second period after getting checked into the boards by Robyn Regehr.
Williams has 22 goals and 35 assists while playing in all 73 games for the Kings, who signed him to a four-year, $14.6 million extension last month.
Williams has been an elite NHL scorer when he’s able to stay healthy during a 10-year career that includes a Stanley Cup victory with Carolina in 2006. He recovered from two major knee surgeries and a torn Achilles’ tendon while playing for Philadelphia and the Hurricanes before missing 2 1/2 months with a broken leg last season with the Kings.
Enforcer Kevin Westgarth filled in for Williams at Tuesday’s practice.
The Kings are expected to recall right wing Oscar Moller from their AHL affiliate in Manchester to replace Williams, although the club had no official announcement early Tuesday. Moller, a 22-year-old Swede who had three points in four games for the Kings this season, tweeted that he was ”Going up!”
After beating the Flames 2-1 in a shootout, Los Angeles began Tuesday in fifth place in the volatile Western Conference standings with 88 points, one behind fourth-place Phoenix. The Kings host San Jose on Thursday.