Drew Doughty had fun at the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, but the defenseman is itching to get back to the Los Angeles Kings for what he believes will be a fruitful second-half pursuit of a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "I 100 percent believe we are going to make a push to get in the playoffs," Doughty said during NHL All-Star Game Media Day on Saturday. "I truly believe that and I hope I am not wrong about that. We are trending in the right direction." The Kings are 2-7-0 in January, a slump that's dropped them from second place in the Pacific Division to out of the playoffs as they prepare to resume play at the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, FS-W, NHL.TV). The Kings have 47 points (26-18-5), the same as the Colorado Avalanche (27-18-3), who have played one fewer game and hold the second wild card from the Western Conference. The Minnesota Wild (26-18-5) and Anaheim Ducks (24-17-9) also have 57 points but are behind the Avalanche and Kings on tiebreakers. Doughty says his sights are set on chasing down the Calgary Flames (58 points) and San Jose Sharks (59 points) in the bunched-up Pacific Division. The Kings have won two of their past three games, including an emotional 2-1 overtime victory at Calgary on Wednesday in their final game before the break. "It was a frustrating time. Things weren't going well for us and we were just playing like [garbage]; there's no doubt about it," Doughty said of the swoon that followed a 11-2-2 start to the season. "We obviously were a little worried about it because we did not want to perform that way. We see ourselves as that team that was dominant at the start of the year. We know what we can do when everyone is on their game." Doughty believes the Kings will make a push for several reasons, not the least of which is the return of forward Jeff Carter, who has been out since Oct. 18 because of a lacerated ankle tendon. Carter, who led the Kings with 32 goals last season, resumed skating two weeks ago.
Doughty confident Kings will make playoff push
NHL.com | Jan 30