The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without their backup goalie for a little while as the team placed Peter Budaj on injured reserve Saturday, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. The veteran goaltender started Friday and played well, stopping 29 of 33 shots, but needed to be helped off the ice after sustaining an apparent leg injury and was replaced by starter Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Despite playing well Friday behind a struggling defense, the 35-year-old Budaj’s overall numbers have been disappointing. In seven appearances, he has a 3.80 GAA and a .878 save percentage. No one is quite sure how long Budaj will be out, but the veteran was reportedly already walking on his own after the game Friday, according to Smith. He will have to miss the team’s next three games, but could be back on the roster for the Jan. 6 game against the Ottawa Senators.
Louis Domingue has been recalled from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL to replace him. Domingue started the year as the backup in Arizona, but struggled with a 4.33 GAA and a .856 save percentage in seven appearances and then was swapped to Tampa Bay for goaltender Michael Leighton and journeyman Tye McGinn. The 25-year-old was sent to Syracuse in hopes of finding his game, which he did. He has a 2.39 GAA in 13 games for the Crunch with a .911 save percentage.