EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings placed Jonathan Quick on injured reserve Thursday after the star goalie got hurt in the first period of their season opener.
Quick incurred an unspecified lower-body injury during Los Angeles’ opener at San Jose while making a fairly ordinary stretch to stop a scoring chance by Joe Pavelski. Quick was replaced by new backup Jeff Zatkoff for the final two periods of the Kings’ 2-1 loss.
The club described Quick’s absence as “week-to-week.”
The Kings recalled NHL veteran Peter Budaj from their AHL affiliate in Ontario. Los Angeles’ home opener is Friday night against Philadelphia.
With Quick sidelined by a potentially serious injury, the Kings’ 50th anniversary season has been thrown into turmoil after just one game. The unorthodox, athletic American goalie is exceptionally important to the Kings, playing in 140 of their 162 regular-season games over the past two seasons.
Quick backstopped the Kings to two Stanley Cup titles and won the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason MVP. He won the Jennings Trophy in 2014, and he was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2012 and again last season.
Quick also is a two-time U.S. Olympian who played at the World Cup of Hockey last month, although he claimed that his early start to the season didn’t affect his preparations for the Kings.
Zatkoff was a third-round draft pick by the Kings in 2006, and he spent four seasons in their minor-league system without ever cracking the NHL lineup. He signed with Pittsburgh in 2012, and he won a Stanley Cup ring last summer after starting two playoff games for the Penguins on the way to the title.
Zatkoff, the former college roommate of Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, re-signed with Los Angeles in July. He won a training camp competition with Budaj and Jack Campbell for the backup job behind Quick.
Budaj is a 34-year-old Slovak veteran who spent nine NHL seasons with Colorado and Montreal. He passed through NHL waivers last week, allowing the Kings to keep him for a second season.
While Quick’s backup goalies typically don’t get much action, they largely have excelled in recent years, at least partly due to coach Darryl Sutter’s mandates for puck possession-based hockey, tight checking and sturdy defensive play by every skater.
Martin Jones matched an NHL record by winning his first eight NHL starts in late 2013 while Quick was sidelined for seven weeks with a serious groin strain. Jones won a Stanley Cup ring as Quick’s backup later that season before moving to the Sharks last season and reaching the Stanley Cup Final again.