Jonathan Quick will probably return to the net Thursday as the Kings try to right a season that has veered off track.
Quick was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate, an indication that he will return from a lower-body injury when the Kings play the New York Islanders at Staples Center. Jack Campbell was the other goalie in practice, meaning previous backup Peter Budaj has likely been reassigned to the minors.
Quick has not played since the season opener. He was injured in practice the next day, according to the team,
“Just his presence alone means a lot to our hockey team,” Kings coach John Stevens said.
Campbell went 2-3 with a 2.69 goals-against average in Quick’s absence. The Kings have allowed nine goals in their past two games in a disconcerting pivot from their identity. Their top-ranked penalty-killing unit from last season was 26th at 70.6% for 2918 going into Thursday.
“To be honest with you, we’re still trying to find our identity as a hockey team,” Stevens said. “Special teams need to improve, both power play and penalty kill. We always take great pride in keeping the puck out of our net and part of that process is just not spending as much time in your own zone.”
Rookie Sheldon Rempal could make his NHL debut. Kyle Clifford and Paul LaDue were the extra skaters in practice.