EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter will be out indefinitely with a cut to his left leg that required surgery Thursday.
"He cut a tendon but it was on the side of the ankle," Kings general manager Rob Blake said. "It wasn't the Achilles tendon. We won't (announce) a timeline, at all. ... He's out indefinitely."
Carter, who has three assists in six games and was the leading scorer for the Kings last season with 66 points (32 goals, 34 assists) in 82 games, was injured in the last minute of the first period on a hit from Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry in a 5-1 win Wednesday. He left the game and did not return.
"It didn't even look like the skate hit his leg," Kings coach John Stevens said. "It was a harmless play, but unfortunately it wasn't. It's a fast game with steel blades on your feet, so things can happen in a hurry."
Video: ARI@LAK: Carter finds net with precise backhand shot
The Kings (5-0-1) are off to the best start in their history and begin a six-game road trip at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-W, NHL.TV).
"It's a big challenge," Stevens said. "You've got a veteran guy that's one of the captains of your team and plays in all situations. He's one of the dominant centermen in the League. He's a huge part of our team.
"But it's the next man up now. We've got guys that are going to have increased responsibility. We're going to have guys that are going to play with different people. We've seen before when guys get opportunities, sometimes guys are excited to take advantage of those opportunities. I think we saw that last night."
Los Angeles signed forward Brooks Laich to a one-year, $650,000 contract shortly after announcing Carter would be out. Laich had 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 81 games with the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs last season.
The 34-year-old, who was released from a professional tryout (PTO) after training camp, said he was prepared to keep practicing with the Kings for months, if necessary, to get another NHL opportunity.
"In my mind, I was at least prepared to go to Christmas or probably until the end of January before I might have started looking at a different way of life," he said. "But I was even prepared to do it on my own, to rent ice every day and to skate on my own and was fortunate that [the Kings] allowed me to come back here and keep in shape with NHL-caliber guys and get to know the team more.
"… I'm forever in debt to the L.A. Kings. You get to this stage of my career, the game means so much more and you're more grateful for every day. There's still so much in me that I want to give, so much I want to do in the sport. … I still feel like it's my first day in the NHL."