According to Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times (via Helene Elliott), goaltender Jeff Zatkoff has suffered a lower-body injury at practice, and will be unable to play against the Vancouver Canucks tonight. The team has recalled Jack Campbell to take his place on the roster for the game.
With Jonathan Quick already on the shelf for months, any injury in the Kings’ crease weakens their cause even further. Peter Budaj will likely be in net tonight against the Canucks, but the 34-year old hasn’t been an effective NHL starter in years now. For a team who is still in win-now mode, the defense will need to tighten up even further for the next few days at least. As Jon Rosen of FOX Sports reports, Zatkoff’s groin ’tightened up’ after stopping a shot in practice. While it may not be a major injury yet, groin injuries often linger longer than initially expected.
Campbell, a former 11th overall pick by the Dallas Stars, has never been able to establish himself in the NHL. The 24-year old split the last two seasons between the AHL and ECHL, where he found mixed results. If Zatkoff stays on the shelf for very long, the Kings will need a combination of Budaj and Campbell to keep them competitive. The team sits at 1-3-0 through four games, and sixth in the Pacific Division.