LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick returned to the ice for the first time in 4 and a half months on Saturday, February 25 defeating the Anaheim Ducks 4-1.
Quick suffered a groin injury on October 12, 2016 in the first quarter of the game against the San Jose Sharks. Instead of surgery, he decided on a non-surgical procedure that would strengthen the tendon through recovery and rehab. This was his second groin injury in his career. He was expected to make a return in 3 months.
“Obviously when you get hurt, everything runs through your mind. You start thinking thoughts that maybe you shouldn’t, and I’m just glad it worked out that I was able to come back and play here,” Groin told reporters after the game.
Peter Budaj filled in during Quick’s absence and has been one of the top goalies this season for the Kings going 27-20-3 with seven shutouts, a 2.12 goal against average and a .917 save percentage in 53 games—all comparable numbers to Quick’s statistics last season, according to ESPN.
Despite Budaj’s impressive goaltending, the Kings have struggled to stay in the playoff position in recent weeks, with 7 losses in the previous 11 home games. Quick’s return as a starter was the spark the team needed to end a 3-game losing streak against the Ducks.
“Having Quickie, we know we can trust him. We know we can trust (Budaj) too. It doesn’t really make a difference, but like I said, Quickie made some huge saves for us in the game early and we stayed with it and kept getting shots and scored some goals,” said Kings forward Tyler Toffoli.
This is the Kings coach Darryl Sutter’s 216th win making him the franchises all-time leader in coaching wins.