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Hockey

Last weekend was like a game of musical chairs for Los Angeles Kings goalies and their coaches

Peter Budaj, Kyle Clifford
Kings forward Kyle Clifford, left, and goalie Peter Budaj celebrate the team’s 4-3 win in a shootout against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 22.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Last weekend will be long remembered as a wild ride for goalies in the Kings’ organization ... and their goalie coaches.

Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford was getting ready for his own playing gig Saturday, tending goal for a spell for the Edmonton Oilers against the Winnipeg Jets in an alumni game at Winnipeg. His day changed when he got a message from Dusty Imoo, goalie coach for the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate in Ontario, Calif.

The Kings’ No. 2 goalie, Jeff Zatkoff, suffered a groin injury during Saturday’s morning skate, landing on injured reserve and setting off an organizational chain reaction. The Kings already were dealing with the long-term absence of injured No. 1 goalie, Jonathan Quick.

“Sure put a dent in my morning,” said Ranford.

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Ranford returned from Winnipeg and was at Kings practice Monday in El Segundo. Amid the injuries, there was positive news: Peter Budaj and the Kings prevailed over the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout Saturday night. In a slice of hockey history in Ontario, 46-year-old Dusty Imoo backed up his son, Jonah Imoo, in the Reign’s overtime loss to the San Jose Barracuda.

“I was texting him,” Budaj said of Dusty. “I was kind of imagining myself in his position — if my son would be playing and I would be on the bench I would definitely be sweating more than usual. You love your kids more than you love yourself.”

Added Budaj, “It’s the coolest thing.”

Ontario brought in another goalie Monday, signing 30-year-old Troy Redmann to a professional tryout, so as planned Dusty was released from his professional tryout. The Reign had to scramble Saturday because goalie Jack Campbell joined the Kings in Los Angeles to back up Budaj after Zatkoff’s injury.

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Order should be restored in Los Angeles and Ontario next week, possibly.

Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said that Zatkoff probably will be sidelined for a week, potentially coming off injured reserve after the Kings return from a two-game trip to St. Louis and Chicago this weekend.

The busy schedule means that Campbell could get his second NHL start. His league debut came three years ago in Anaheim when he was with the Dallas Stars. The Ducks defeated the Stars, 6-3, in the NHL debut of then-Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen, who came on in relief of Jonas Hiller.

Ranford said that the Kings first tried to acquire Campbell, a first-round pick by the Stars in 2010, at the trade deadline last season. They succeeded in the summer, sending defenseman Nick Ebert to Dallas in a trade.

Campbell said Monday that he “felt disappointed” in letting the Stars down. But the change of scenery has helped, along with the mentoring from Ranford and Dusty Imoo. 

“I always idolized Quickie [Jonathan Quick] as a goalie,” Campbell said. “I was always watching his games. Now I see why the goalies here have had so much success with Billy and Dusty.”

Said Ranford: “He [Campbell] just does everything at 150%. We’re just trying to bring him down a notch, just keep him more even keel and just support him and put some trust into his game. He had an amazing training camp. Now he’s just got to take it on into the regular season.”

KINGS NEXT UP

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VS. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. 

On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 790.

Update: Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start for the Blue Jackets. Not with the team is defenseman Ryan Murray (upper body injury).

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

 


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