The Kings on Thursday recalled goaltender Peter Budaj from their American Hockey League team in Ontario to serve as Jeff Zatkoff’s backup, and perhaps to start a game or two, too, while Jonathan Quick is sidelined by an unspecified lower-body injury. Budaj led the AHL last season with 42 victories and nine shutouts.
The Kings placed goaltender Jonathan Quick on injured reserve Thursday afternoon, one day after he was forced from their season-opening loss to the San Jose Sharks because of a lower-body injury. Quick’s status was described as week to week by a team spokesman.
Jeff Zatkoff will replace Quick in the Kings’ lineup for Friday’s home-opening game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Staples Center. Zatkoff took over for Quick to start the second period of the Kings’ 2-1 loss Wednesday to the Sharks in San Jose.
Quick stopped 14 of 15 shots.
Zatkoff stopped 15 of 16.
The Kings are expected to recall Peter Budaj from their AHL team in Ontario to serve as Zatkoff’s backup, and perhaps start, too, while Quick is sidelined.
“Jonathan is obviously a special player,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter. “You just don’t replace that. It’s not different than any other star player. You just don’t replace or expect somebody to play the same way and do the same things. We also know we’re quite capable at that position.”
Quick was the NHL’s most durable goalie last season, leading the league with 4,034 minutes played over 68 games. He won 40 games, had a 2.22 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage with five shutouts and was a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2015-16.
In addition, the 30-year-old Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the 2012 playoffs, leading the Kings to the first of their two Stanley Cup championships in a three-season span. He had a 16-4 record, a 1.41 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage in the ’12 playoffs.
Zatkoff will assume the starter’s duties one game into his second stint with the Kings. He rejoined the team that selected him in the third round of the 2006 draft (74th overall), signing a two-year, $1.8-million free-agent contract last July 1.
“Don’t change anything,” Zatkoff said. “The message is the same. We want to win games and we want to play a certain way, and nothing changes. … My job is to come in and the team doesn’t miss a beat. … I’ve had situations to prepare me for this. It’s definitely a good opportunity.”
The Kings announced their list of replacement announcers when Hall of Fame play-by-play man Bob Miller isn’t working this season. Gary Thorne will work eight games, Chris Cuthbert and Ralph Strangis will work four apiece and Jiggs McDonald will work one game alongside analyst Jim Fox. McDonald was the Kings’ first broadcaster, starting in their inaugural 1967-68 season. Miller earlier announced plans to work a limited schedule after undergoing heart surgery last season.
Thorne will work games Nov. 8 at Toronto; Nov. 10 at Montreal; Nov. 11 at Ottawa, Nov. 13 at Winnipeg; Nov. 15 at Colorado; Dec. 13 at Buffalo, Dec. 15 at Detroit and Dec. 18 at Boston.
Strangis will work games Dec. 20 at Columbus; Dec. 22 at Nashville; Dec. 23 at Dallas and Dec. 26 at Carolina.
Cuthbert will work games Jan. 21 at the New York Islanders, Jan. 23 at the New York Rangers; Jan. 24 at New Jersey and Feb. 4 at Philadelphia.
McDonald will work the Feb. 9 game at Florida.
In case you missed it, the Kings on Sunday assigned Peter Budaj to Ontario of the American Hockey League, ending a training camp battle with Jeff Zatkoff for backup goaltending duties. Zatkoff signed a two-year, $1.8-million free-agent contract last summer to be Jonathan Quick’s fill-in this season.
There was no formal announcement of their assignment to Ontario of the AHL on Monday, but forwards Adrian Kempe and Michael Mersch and defensemen Paul LaDue and Kurtis MacDermid didn’t join the Kings for their practice and there were no longer locker stalls with their names on them in the dressing room.
NHL opening-night rosters must be set by 2 p.m. Tuesday.
The Kings placed forward Michael Latta and defenseman Rob Scuderi on waivers Monday. The other 29 teams in the NHL have until 9 a.m. on Tuesday, to claim them. If no one does, then the Kings will retain their rights and could assign them to Ontario of the American Hockey League, a likely scenario for both.
The Kings placed winger Marian Gaborik on injured reserve Thursday, retroactive to Sept. 25, because of a broken right foot he suffered during Team Europe’s semifinal victory over Sweden in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto. Gaborik was injured when he was struck by a puck shot by teammate Mats Zuccarello in the second period. The Kings expect Gaborik to be sidelined for about two months.
“The toughest part of his injury, you know a lot of times those boot injuries you can start walking, but he can’t,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Gaborik. “It’s got to be non-weight bearing, just the way it’s broke, otherwise he’s going to move those bones around. So that’s the tough part. It’s frustrating for him, because he’s a guy who likes to work out and train. … He can’t do nothin’ yet.”
The Ontario Reign, the Kings’ American Hockey League team, lost to the San Diego Gulls, the Ducks’ affiliate, in a shootout in an exhibition game Thursday morning at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. Ondrej Kase scored the winner in a shootout to give the Gulls a 4-3 victory.
Miles Koules’ third-period goal capped the Reign’s rally from a 3-1 deficit and sent the game to overtime. Corey Ward and Lucas Lessio also scored for the Reign, and Jack Flinn and Jonah Imoo split the goaltending duties. The teams play again Monday at the Honda Center.
The Kings won’t be at full strength when the regular season begins next Wednesday in San Jose. They learned Wednesday they’ll be without winger Tanner Pearson, who was suspended by the NHL for the rest of the exhibition season plus two regular-season games for an illegal check Sunday.
Pearson also was fined $15,555.56.
Here’s a link to the NHL’s video explanation: https://www.nhl.com/video/pearson-suspended-for-hit-to-head/t-277350912/c-45092103
The Kings also will be without injured winger Marian Gaborik, who suffered a broken right foot during the World Cup on Sept. 25 in Toronto that will sideline him for two months. Gaborik is scheduled to be re-examined by a team doctor the week of Oct. 16, according to coach Darryl Sutter.
Sutter hoped to determined who might best replace Gaborik during exhibition games in Las Vegas on Friday against the Dallas Stars and Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche. Now, Sutter has two vacancies to fill for the regular-season’s first two games.
Pearson was banned Wednesday for an illegal hit to the head of the Edmonton Oilers’ Brandon Davidson during the the Kings’ exhibition loss Sunday. Pearson was ejected from the game and now will serve the first suspension of his 146-game NHL career.
“I didn’t mean to have contact with the head, but that’s the way the game is now, and it’s one of those things that happened and it’s over with and now I’ve got to pay the consequences,” said Pearson, who is eligible to return to the lineup for an Oct. 18 game against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul, Minn.
“I’m just going to deal with it.”
Pearson said he was trying to hit Davidson, an Oilers defenseman, in the shoulder on a play at center ice. Pearson drove his shoulder into Davidson’s head instead, injuring him and drawing a match penalty and a game misconduct at the 11-minute mark of the second period.
“I don’t want to do it again,” said Pearson, who was the Kings’ seventh-leading scorer last season with 36 points, including 15 goals, in 79 games. “I don’t like missing hockey games. It’s unfortunate what happened and I’ve got to sit out now.”
The Kings on Monday assigned 15 players to the Reign, who begin training camp Tuesday at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. Joining the Reign were: forwards Michael Amadio, Justin Auger, Sean Backman, Patrick Bjorkstrand, Paul Bissonnette, Joel Lowery, Justin Gutierrez, T.J. Hensick, Sam Herr, Lucas Lessio and Brett Sutter; defensemen Erik Cernak, Alex Lintuniemi, Damir Sharipzianov; and goalie Jack Flinn to Ontario.
The Kings also returned forward Austin Wagner (Regina) and defenseman Chaz Reddekopp (Victoria) to their teams in the junior-level Western Hockey League. Actually, this happened Saturday.