With Jonathan Quick day-to-day with a lower-body injury, the Kings will turn to Jack Campbell tonight against the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. / FOX Sports West / FOX Sports GO / LA Kings Audio Network). Campbell’s home town of Port Huron is 60 miles north of Detroit. The 26-year-old also played for the Little Caesars and Honeybaked minor hockey programs before joining the U.S. National Development Team Program while it was based in Ann Arbor, so there are some strong local ties (as there often are whenever any team faces the Red Wings).
Quick’s injury occurred during Saturday’s practice, John Stevens confirmed, though it wasn’t clear when exactly it occurred.
“Just got the call from Kinger (Head Athletic Trainer Chris Kingsley) yesterday,” Stevens said. “It became an issue, and obviously it became more of an issue that he’s not able to perform.”
Peter Budaj will be recalled prior to game time and will back up Campbell, per hockey operations. The exact details of the recall are not immediately known, though the Kings would not have to make a corresponding move because they have 22 players on the active roster.
A spark that helped keep the Kings afloat for much of 2016-17 while Quick recovered from a severe groin strain suffered in the first period of the first game of the season, Budaj was 27-20-3 over 53 games in 2016-17 with a 2.12 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and seven shutouts. He has 365 career NHL games to his name.
The length of his stay will be determined after Quick is further evaluated.
“In terms of after today, we’re going to have to wait and see,” Stevens said. “He’ll get a further evaluation today and see exactly what the timeline looks like, and when we get someone in here today, I’m assuming if [Quick’s] not ready to go, then that player will stay with us.”
Los Angeles leaves for a four-game road trip through Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto Monday morning. Campbell’s terrific performance in a 2-1 overtime loss at Winnipeg last March served as an encouraging benchmark.
“We feel good about Jack. He worked really hard over the summer,” Stevens said. “He obviously had the one outing [in the preseason at Anaheim] where we didn’t play great, he didn’t play great, but he bounced back with a really solid game in Vegas. He came in last year in some really tough situations – he was probably the big reason we got a point in Winnipeg late in the year on the road trip. He’s been in the fire there where he’s been able to really give us some stability in the net. He works hard, reads the game well, good communicator, so we’re confident he can step in and do the job.”
-Lead photo via Noah Graham/NHLI