Anton Khudobin’s conditioning stint with the Checkers lasted just two games, with the Hurricanes bringing him back to Carolina on Tuesday.
In his first two games at any level since suffering an ankle injury on Oct. 13, Khudobin stopped 77 of 83 total shots faced in a 4-3 loss to Chicago on Sunday and a 3-2 victory in Rockford on Monday. The 27-year-old made 41 saves in Monday’s win, earning first-star honors and marking the highest single-game save total by a Checker this season.
Khudobin, one of a franchise-record eight goaltenders the Checkers have used this season, also became the first Charlotte netminder other than John Muse to win a game since Oct. 5, the second game of the season at Oklahoma City.
Having demonstrated his game-readiness at the AHL level, where he has now played a total of 158 games dating back to the 2007-08 season, Khudobin could reportedly start for Carolina as early as Thursday as he rejoins a battle with Cam Ward and former Checker Justin Peters for the Hurricanes’ No. 1 role.
Tuesday’s transaction restores Charlotte’s tandem of Muse and Mike Murphy, who took turns backing up Khudobin. It’s possible that both could see game action as the Checkers next take the ice for back-to-back home games against the Texas Stars starting Thursday.