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Jeff Zatkoff to make first start in goal for Kings

Replaces injured Jonathan Quick vs. Flyers, who will dress two 19-year-olds in season opener

by Curtis Zupke / NHL.com Correspondent

FLYERS (0-0-0) at KINGS (0-1-0)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, CSN-PH, NHL-TV

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Goalie Jeff Zatkoff will make his first regular-season start with the Los Angeles Kings on Friday when they play the Philadelphia Flyers at Staples Center.

It comes in the Kings' home opener, on a night they kick off their 50th anniversary season by recognizing players from their inaugural 1967-68 season in a pregame ceremony. It also comes 10 years after the Kings drafted Zatkoff, who returned to the organization July 1 after a stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"It's crazy," Zatkoff said. "It's funny the way it works. Everything comes back around. But I'm thrilled. I'm excited for the opportunity. It's unfortunate the way it came about. But I just have to make sure I don't try and do too much. Just have fun, play my game … to finally get your first start at home. It's pretty special."

Zatkoff assumes the No. 1 role because of a lower-body injury sustained by Jonathan Quick on Wednesday. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said Friday the injury is in the "same area" as the groin strain in November 2013 that kept Quick out for nearly two months. Quick is consulting with several doctors on the next course of action, Lombardi said.

Peter Budaj was recalled from Ontario of the American Hockey League on Thursday and will serve as the backup to Zatkoff, who played the final two periods of the 2-1 loss at the San Jose Sharks.

Defenseman Alec Martinez, who has known Zatkoff since they were 13 and played with him at Miami University, said it's hard to replace Quick but that Zatkoff is capable.

"Obviously we have all the confidence in the world in [Zatkoff]," Martinez said. "There's a reason why he plays in the NHL. It's like anything -- a penalty, a goal, guys get injured. It's part of the game. We've done it before. We'll do it again.

Philadelphia reportedly will start goalie Michal Neuvirth in its season opener. The Flyers play at the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday and can start goalie Steve Mason in that game.

"I'm really excited," Neuvirth told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "The season is about to begin and it's a new start for everybody."

Left wing Travis Konecny and defenseman Ivan Provorov are expected to make their NHL debuts.

Kings left wing Tanner Pearson is serving the final game of a four-game suspension. Flyers defensemen Radko Gudas and Brayden Schenn are also serving suspensions.

Video: LAK@SJS: Zatkoff extends the pad to deny Boedker

 

Flyers projected lineup

Michael Raffl -- Claude Giroux -- Wayne Simmonds

Travis Konecny -- Sean Couturier -- Jake Voracek

Nick Cousins -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Dale Weise

Chris VandeVelde -- Boyd Gordon -- Matt Read

Shayne Gostisbehere -- Andrew MacDonald

Ivan Provorov -- Mark Streit

Nick Schultz -- Brandon Manning

Michal Neuvirth

Steve Mason

Scratched: Roman Lyubimov

Injured: Michael Del Zotto (lower body)

Suspended: Radko Gudas, Brayden Schenn

 

Kings projected lineup

Dwight King -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Teddy Purcell -- Jeff Carter -- Trevor Lewis

Devin Setoguchi -- Nick Shore -- Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford -- Andy Andreoff -- Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin -- Drew Doughty

Brayden McNabb -- Alec Martinez

Matt Greene -- Derek Forbort

Jeff Zatkoff

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Nic Dowd, Tom Gilbert

Injured: Jonathan Quick (lower body), Marian Gaborik (foot)

Suspended: Tanner Pearson

 

Status report

Lyubimov could make his debut Saturday, Flyers coach Dave Hakstol told the Inquirer. … Pearson is sitting out for an illegal check to defenseman Branson Davidson in a preseason game.

 

Who's hot

Konecny led the Flyers with six points in the preseason. … Toffoli scored the Kings' only goal in their season opener, on a power play 1:22 into the game.

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