Jonathan Bernier is likely to start in goal for the Kings on Friday night against the Stars while Jonathan Quick is in Los Angeles awaiting the birth of his first child, a girl.
Quick left the team early Thursday after his wife, Jaclyn, went into labor. Bernier, who played four games with the Kings early in the 2007-08 season, was recalled from Manchester of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis. He was due in Dallas on Thursday night.
Quick’s backup, Erik Ersberg, hasn’t played since Feb. 11, but Bernier played Wednesday and has a 26-18-5 record, 2.08 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and eight shutouts in 50 games.
“I want to see him. I know he’s had a great year, one of the best in all of the goaltenders that are outside of the NHL, and this might be an opportunity for me to get a look at him, for the team, and for him to come up and play,” Kings Coach Terry Murray said Thursday.
Right wing Justin Williams is scheduled to return after breaking his right ankle Dec. 26 and will be reunited with center Anze Kopitar and left wing Ryan Smyth.
“I’m ready to rock,” said Williams, who has eight goals and 24 points in 33 games this season. “I don’t think I need to be coddled or whatnot. I’m going to try and be an impact right away…. Watching this team be successful, I want to be a part of it. The best part of the year is right now.”
Defenseman Randy Jones, who struggled in the Kings’ 3-2 overtime loss at Chicago on Wednesday, has a bruised knee but is expected to play against the Stars. Winger Fredrik Modin blocked a shot with his hand Wednesday but is expected to play.