Kings short on goalies as they host Maple Leafs
The Kings announced Monday that Jack Campbell would need surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee and would be sidelined 4-6 weeks. Campbell had taken over for Jonathan Quick, who underwent surgery earlier this month to repair a torn meniscus.
The Kings (5-10-1) have just two healthy goalies in their organization, Cal Petersen and Peter Budaj.
“There are no external options right now,” Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford told LA Kings Insider. “You rely on waiver wire and stuff like that, but right now there are injuries around the league and there are no guys available.”
Los Angeles recalled Petersen from the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League on Monday.
Petersen, 24, was 2-3-1 in 10 games with the Reign this season. He owns a 4.29 goals-against-average and a .881 save percentage. Petersen signed a two-year entry-level deal with the Kings in July of 2017 following his junior year at Notre Dame.
He showed his durability with the Fighting Irish, starting 90 straight games during one stretch, the fourth-longest streak in NCAA history.
Budaj will likely start in goal against the Maple Leafs (11-6-0), who scored four goals on 25 shots against Campbell in a 4-1 win against the visiting Kings on Oct. 15. That win capped a season-long five-game winning streak for Toronto and came early in a six-game losing skid for Los Angeles.
The Maples Leafs entered the week as the sixth-highest scoring team in the NHL at 3.41 goals a game, while Los Angeles was 31st at 2.06.
Toronto was unbeaten on the road until a 5-1 loss at the Boston Bruins on Saturday dropped the Maple Leafs to 6-1-0 away from Scotiabank Arena.
“We’ll just get regrouped and get back at her,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock told reporters after the loss. “Things have gone well for us all year, and we plan on regrouping and playing well.”
The Kings will be playing the final game of a season-long seven-game homestand. They were hoping the 2 1/2 weeks at home would turn around their season, but they are 3-3-0 so far and fired coach John Stevens on Nov. 4.
Los Angeles brought in Willie Desjardins and then beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 in his first game behind the bench last Tuesday. That gave the Kings their first two-game winning streak of the season, but they’ve since lost back-to-back games to the Minnesota Wild (3-1) and Calgary Flames (1-0).
“We have to create some systems that are going to get guys more involved,” Desjardins told reporters after the loss to Calgary. “We’ve got to force ourselves to get up ice and play more aggressive and play more offensive.”
Desjardins said he’d like his players to keep that a mindset, even if it leads to more scoring chances going the other way.
“We’re not creating enough right now,” he said. “We want to be more of an aggressive team. I think all our guys know that we’ve had our opportunities, and we haven’t capitalized on them.”