While the LA Kings may have lost to the Avalanche on Friday night, goaltender Cal Petersen was nonetheless solid, making a season-high 44 saves en route.
It has been a crazy couple of days for him but like Troy Grosenick on Wednesday, Cal Petersen was given short notice before his start on Friday against the Colorado Avalanche. Before Wednesday’s game in Anaheim, it was announced that Petersen was being placed on the LA Kings’ COVID protocol list, hence the decision to start Grosenick. However, on Friday, Petersen was good to go and back in goal.
While his team ultimately lost on Friday in Denver, Petersen easily had his best game of the campaign. The Notre Dame alum made a season-high 44 saves against the high-powered Avalanche but received no goal support as the LA Kings lost 2-0.
Following Friday’s loss, Petersen spoke with the media about his night and events from the past couple of days.
“Yeah, it was just kind of a big surprise,” Petersen said of being put on the COVID protocol list. “I got notified that I was being put in protocol and just kind of had to wait it out and take it day by day and follow the rules of the protocol. I think it was– by [Friday] morning, I was able to get released back and I think it was revealed, I think it was a false positive. So, glad to be back and I’m glad it was handled well and I was able to join the team.”
As Friday’s game went along, Petersen admitted that he felt gradually stronger.
“Yeah, I mean, you can’t really choose the game that you face,” the 26-year-old noted. “So, I was just trying to stop everything that came my way.”
And stop (almost) everything, he did.
After Grosenick’s stellar performance on Wednesday, Petersen had to stand out on Friday. By night’s end, No. 40 was arguably his team’s first star, making 44 saves while his only goal allowed came off a screen which, unfortunately for Petersen and company, stood as the game-winning tally.
While his stellar outing cannot be underestimated, Petersen did have plenty of help from his defensive unit, who, as a whole, really stepped up their efforts in keeping the game as close it was. The LA Kings netminder was quick to give full credit to his defense on a job well done.
“Our defense and everybody, I think we kind of held it down and gave ourselves a chance at the end there,” observed Petersen. “There’s a lot of commitment to blocking shots. I think the thing that just hurt us is we obviously just spent so much time defending that we weren’t able to get a lot of momentum offensively. But, I thought our effort in the D-zone was awesome and they really helped me out.”
Whatever the situation was involving his off-ice ailment, Cal Petersen was not the least bit fazed.
In what was his second 40-plus-save game of the season, the Waterloo, IA, native was, quite frankly, the biggest reason why Friday’s loss was as close as it was. The Avalanche, to their tremendous credit, outplayed the LA Kings from start to finish and Petersen earned his keep, and then some.
There is no word as of yet whether LA Kings head coach Todd McLellan will go with Petersen again on Sunday in Denver but after Saturday’s practice was canceled, the netminder and his teammates were given a much-needed rest before they attempt to avenge Friday night’s defeat.
Win or lose, Cal Petersen continues to show how invaluable he is to this up-and-coming LA Kings squad. So, regardless of the club’s outcome, Petersen’s outings are always going to be something worth watching.