Kings get Bolts goalie

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

The Los An­ge­les Kings have de­cided to make their post­sea­son push with two de­pend­able veteran goalies shar­ing the crease.

Los An­ge­les ac­quired Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Light­ning on Sun­day in a trade in­clud­ing goalie Peter Bu­daj and an ex­change of draft picks.

The Kings will pair Bishop with Jonathan Quick in a for­mi­da­ble tan­dem down the stretch as they at­tempt to make the play­offs for the sev­enth time in eight years. Los An­ge­les (30-27-4) be­gan the day three points be­hind St. Louis for the sec­ond wild-card berth in the Western Con­fer­ence.

Quick re­turned only Sat­ur­day from a 59-game ab­sence with a se­ri­ous groin in­jury, and gen­eral man­ager Dean Lom­bardi didn’t want to over­work his two-time Stan­ley Cup cham­pion goalie dur­ing a dif­fi­cult March sched­ule.

“This is not an in­surance pol­icy,” Lom­bardi said. “It is a way that we think to make sure that Jon is bro­ken in prop­erly, and make sure we’re in po­si­tion to win every game down the stretch. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of room for er­ror ... and we want to make sure we have a No. 1 goalie in there every night.”

The Kings gave up Bu­daj, who filled in ad­mirably as their starter dur­ing Quick’s 4 1/2-month ab­sence, along with ju­nior de­fence­man Erik Cer­nak. Tampa Bay also got a 2017 sev­enth-round pick and an­other con­di­tional pick that could be­come a sec­on­dround se­lec­tion, but only if ex­tra­or­di­nary con­di­tions are met.

Los An­ge­les re­ceived Bishop and Tampa Bay’s 2017 fifthround pick. Bishop is an un­re­stricted free agent this sum­mer.

Both teams are scrap­ping to get into play­off po­si­tion over the next six weeks. The Light­ning (27-25-8) are seven points back of a play­off spot, while the veteran-laden Kings are de­ter­mined to avoid a third straight year without a play­off se­ries vic­tory since win­ning the 2014 cham­pi­onship.

Quick has been their starter when healthy since De­cem­ber 2008, but the Kings are wary of en­dan­ger­ing the long-term health of a goalie un­der con­tract un­til 2023. Los An­ge­les vis­its the Min­nesota Wild on Mon­day night to be­gin a stretch of 15 games in 31 days, in­clud­ing four back-to-back sets.

“When you’ve been out this long, (to) think that you’re go­ing to ride this like in the past when we (would play) Jon 70 games, I think that’s to­tally im­prac­ti­cal,” Lom­bardi said. “I don’t think it’s the best way to break in a guy. I think the days of play­ing Jon Quick 70 games, like we did two years ago, make no sense.”

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