LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings lost not only Game 1 at home to the Sharks on Thursday, but defenseman Alec Martinez left in the second period and did not return with an apparent injury.
Martinez, who missed the last four games of the regular season with an undisclosed injury, blocked a shot by Patrick Marleau with 3:16 to go in the second period and did not take another shift.
When asked about the 28-year-old defenseman after the game, Kings coach Darryl Sutter said: “He didn’t play in the third period. Didn’t play most of the second period, either.”
Sutter suggested that the Martinez's absence aided the Sharks' 4-3 win, when it was suggested to him that the Kings were guilty of some defensive sloppiness.
"Once we got down a defenseman, that was there," he said, before pointing out that the Sharks scored two goals off of face-offs. "They scored four goals on  shots. We have to be better than that."
The loss would be a tough one for the Kings, who have been down defenseman Matt Greene, as well, for most of the season. Defenseman Jamie McBain, a scratch on Thursday, would be the most likely candidate to play for Martinez if necessary.
In 78 games this season, Martinez posted 31 points (10g, 21a) and a plus-16 rating. He skated 11:23 with no shot attempts and two blocked shots on Thursday before departing.
Game 2 is on Saturday at Staples Center.