The Los Angeles Kings will be without defenseman Willie Mitchell and left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky for at least a month due to injuries, dealing a significant blow to the Western Conference leaders’ veteran depth.
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Mitchell will be out four to six weeks with a broken left wrist, while Ponikarovsky will miss at least four weeks with a broken finger, the Kings announced Monday. Neither player will need surgery.
Both Kings newcomers were injured during Saturday’s win over Nashville, which boosted Los Angeles’ record to 10-3-0 during the club’s best start in 30 years.
Mitchell and Ponikarovsky are in their first season in Los Angeles after signing as free agents in the offseason. Mitchell spent the past three seasons with Vancouver, while Ponikarovsky was with Pittsburgh and Toronto last year.
Mitchell has one goal, four assists and a plus-7 rating while playing in the Kings’ top defensive pairing with Drew Doughty, who only returned last week from a six-game absence with an apparent concussion.
Ponikarovsky has two goals and two assists for Los Angeles, providing his biggest contributions defensively on the third line with Michal Handzus and Wayne Simmonds.
The Kings are off until Thursday, when they host Dallas.