EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — When Drew Doughty joined the Kings in 2008, he could walk around town unnoticed. Few realized the slightly pudgy 18-year-old was the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, bound for stardom.
But after six seasons, including a Stanley Cup and two Olympic gold medals, anonymity is all but gone for the defenseman.
"Back in the day, we could roll in anywhere, and there's no way anyone would know who you were; no possible way," Doughty said. "Now it seems like everywhere we do go, we are getting recognized."
The hockey world is getting another up-close look at Doughty as Los Angeles, up 1-0 on the Rangers in the Stanley Cup final entering tonight's Game 2, chases its second title in three seasons.
Doughty, 24, is a favorite for the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP, leading all defensemen with 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) while playing nearly 28 minutes per game. He played a major role on both ends of the scoreboard in Game 1. His overaggressive mistake led to a first-period goal for the Rangers. But he answered with the tying goal in the second period, toe-dragging around wing Derek Dorsett and beating Henrik Lundqvist.
"He's a great player, and he made a great play," Dorsett said.
"We know what he's capable of doing."
Doughty's teammates are no longer surprised by his abilities, which he developed on the rinks of London, Ontario. He started as a two-way center but switched to defense early when one of his camps ran short on defensemen.
"I've never been on a team where I'm at the top of any one single attribute, except my mind," Doughty said. "I think the game well. I study the game well. I'm always watching other people to see how I can get better."
Personnel report: Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr, out 14 games with a knee injury "probably" will return tonight coach Darryl Sutter. And New York defenseman John Moore is expected to return after a two-game suspension for a hit to the head of Montreal's Dale Weise during the East final.
Penguins fire coach, hire general manager
PITTSBURGH — The Penguins fired coach Dan Bylsma and hired Jim Rutherford as general manager.
Bylsma won a franchise-record 252 games over four-plus seasons but was 4-5 in playoff series since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009. All five losses came to lower-seeded teams. And Pittsburgh blew 3-1 series leads to the Lightning in 2011 and the Range rs this season.
Rutherford, who replaces the fired Ray Shero, stepped down as Hurricanes GM in April. He played goalie for the Penguins during the 1970s before spending 20 years with the Whalers/Hurricanes, who won the Stanley Cup in 2006.