It’s Zatkoff time in Los Angeles.
Jeff Zatkoff, the career backup with just 36 games on his resume, will get the biggest opportunity of his NHL career tonight when the Kings host the Flyers at Staples.
Zatkoff will replace the injured Jonathan Quick tonight, and for the foreseeable future. Quick, injured in L.A.’s opening-night loss to the Sharks, doesn’t sound as though he’ll be returning anytime soon.
Right now, no decision on how to proceed has been made, but Lombardi expressed the desire to have that decision made expeditiously so that it’s not “weeks,” as he said, before there’s any consensus or executive decision on how to proceed.
Lombardi stressed that this is not a short-term injury. Though the term “week-to-week” has been shared by the team, don’t expect to see [Quick] back in the crease for the home stand that opens a week from Saturday.
The injury, per Lombardi, is in the “same area” as the groin, generally speaking. The location wasn’t pinpointed – it’s not necessarily the groin, and in fact sounded as if it was in an area near the groin – but Lombardi said that it wasn’t a knee injury.
Zatkoff, 29, did look sharp in relief of quick on Wednesday night, stopping 15 of 16 shots faced for a .938 save percentage. He also had 11 starts last year for Pittsburgh, so this isn’t completely unfamiliar territory.
For the Flyers, Michal Neuvirth has been named their opening-night starter.
— Corey Crawford, who allowed three goals on 32 shots in an opening-night loss to St. Louis, will go for Chicago tonight in Nashville. The Preds, to nobody’s surprise, are starting off their campaign with No. 1 netminder Pekka Rinne in goal.
— Brian Elliott and Cam Talbot were in goal for Edmonton’s 7-4 win over Calgary on Wednesday, and those two will be back in tonight as the matchup shifts to the Saddledome. Elliott definitely wants to rebound from a shaky performance in his Flames debut.