Phoenix (16-14-5) at Los Angeles (14-14-6), 10:30 pm EST
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) — The Los Angeles Kings could have
starting goaltender Erik Ersberg back when the club opens a
home-and-home series with the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday.
Ersberg has not played since suffering a groin injury on
December 15, but Kings’ goaltending coach Bill Ranford said
earlier this week that the 26-year-old netminder could be
activated before Friday’s game.
“I think the plan is to hopefully have him back just after to
Christmas,” Ranford said of Ersberg, who is 8-5-2 with a 2.38
goals-against average. “I don’t know if it will be the first
game, but if we can get some practices in right after the break
and as long as he doesn’t tweak it and go backwards, there will
be a good chance he will be available right after Christmas.”
With backup goaltender Jason LaBarbara 1-3-3 in December, the
Kings turned to rookie Jon Quick for the club’s final two games
before the holiday break.
Quick had trouble shutting down the high-octane Detroit Red
Wings offense in a 6-4 loss on Saturday, but bounced back to
make 24 saves in a 3-0 victory Tuesday at Columbus – the first
shutout of his NHL career.
If Ersberg does not rejoin the club Friday, Quick is expected to
get another start.
The Coyotes have earned at least one point in seven of their
last eight games and come in off an impressive third-period
rally against Colorado on Tuesday.
Phoenix trailed 4-2 late in the game, but captain Shane Doan
notched a pair of goals during the final five minutes to force
overtime – where Colorado won on a goal by Brett Clark.
The Kings and Coyotes will play again Saturday in Glendale.