Rookie Ersberg to step in, sixth Kings goalie of the season

Updated: March 6, 2008, 4:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Los Angeles Kings go through more goalies in one year than some teams have in five.

Jason LaBarbera is the latest to fall victim to the Kings' curse. LaBarbera, the Kings' No. 1 goalie this season, had hernia surgery Wednesday and is out for the rest of the season.

LaBarbera, 27, has not played since Feb. 18. He was 17-23-2 this season, with a GAA of 3.00 and a save percentage of .910 for a team that has been erratic at best.

"On the positive side, he will have a full recovery," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "It shouldn't affect his training for next year."

Crawford said rookie Erik Ersberg, who started the past two games, likely will play most of the remaining 14 games for the Kings, who are in last place in the Western Conference.

LaBarbera and rookie Jonathan Bernier had started the season taking turns in net. Bernier was returned to his junior team in November.

J.S. Aubin replaced Bernier, but he was traded last month to the Anaheim Ducks. Dan Cloutier replaced Aubin. Jon Quick filled in for LaBarbera when he was sidelined by a rib injury in December.

The count: six goalies for the Kings, the most they've used in one season in the 40-year history of the franchise.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.