Budaj signed a one-year extension Wednesday to remain in the Kings organization through 2016-17. The 33-year-old netminder spent nearly all of this season as the starting netminder for the team's AHL Ontario affiliate, compiling a 30-1-3 record witha .934 save percentage, 1.60 GAA and eight shutouts. Even if he cracks the NHL ranks again at some point (one game this season), it's unlikely he'll see a large enough portion of starts to make him a viable fantasy candidate.
Budaj was sent back down to AHL Ontario on Wednesday, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports. Now that Jonathan Quick has returned from his injury, Budaj will return to the AHL after his emergency recall. He did make one start, a victory over the Rangers, while with the NHL team and will return to Ontario where he's posted sensational numbers. Budaj is a dependable backup when called upon, but will only come up with an injury.
Budaj allowed four goals on 28 shots but came away the winner as the Kings downed the Rangers 5-4 in overtime. Budaj certainly wasn't great in his first NHL appearance since 2013-14, but a win is a win. He's not likely to hang around too long with the Kings and will probably be sent back down to AHL Ontario when Jonathan Quick (lower body) returns, but he's worth monitoring given his unbelievable AHL numbers this season (26-9-3, 1.58 GAA and .935 save percentage).
Budaj will start in the crease Friday against the Rangers, Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports. "He (Budaj) really gives his team the chance to win every night. That's really what we're looking for from him tonight," said goalie coach Bill Ranford. Budaj joined the Kings on Thursday as an emergency recall, and the indication that he'll start Friday suggests Jonathan Quick's lower-body injury is still causing him issues. The veteran netminder has a past as a starting goaltender in the mid-2000s with the Avalanche, and a spectacular showing with AHL Ontario this season (26-9-3 record with a 1.58 GAA and .935 save percentage) has finally earned him a chance back in the NHL for the first time since 2013-14. However, his stint with the club may not last long, as the 33-year-old netminder will likely be the odd man out when Quick returns. In his start Friday, Budaj will need to prepare for a Red Wings club that's averaged 3.00 goals per game thus far in February.
Budaj was recalled by the Kings on emergency conditions Thursday. Budaj's recall comes on the back of news that Jonathan Quick is day-to-day with a lower-body issue. A former top netminder with the Avalanche, the 33-year-old has certainly earned his chance with the Kings, posting a spectacular 1.58 GAA and .935 save percentage (including eight shutouts) with the team's AHL Ontario affiliate. However, his stay with the parent club may be short, and his main role would likely be serving as the backup netminder to Jhonas Enroth until Quick returns.
Last 7 Games
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