Posted May 17, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Anze Kopitar won't allow a puck to the face to keep him out of the Los Angeles Kings' title defense.
Kopitar returned to practice at the Kings' training complex on Friday, and he's ready to play in Game 3 on Saturday night at the Shark Tank after surviving a scary moment in the third period of Game 2 against the San Jose Sharks.
Kopitar missed only a few minutes of the Kings' 4-3 victory Thursday night after a shot by teammate Dustin Brown hit him in the left side of his face above his upper lip.
''I've felt better before, but I guess when you come out of the situation with a couple of stitches, it's not too bad,'' Kopitar said before the Kings' flight to San Jose. ''I wanted to make sure it's nothing serious. As soon as I found out, I wanted to come back. It's really a no-brainer.''
Brown's shot caught Kopitar squarely in the face, and a hush fell over Staples Center as he went down in a heap and finally skated off with a towel on his face. After getting roughly 20 stitches in the dressing room, Kopitar returned later in the period to the strains of the ''Rocky'' theme song.
Los Angeles trailed 3-2 with less than two minutes to play - and while Kopitar would never suggest he inspired one of the most amazing comebacks in Kings history, the Slovenian center was on the ice when the Kings scored the first of two late power-play goals in 22 seconds to steal Game 2 from the Sharks.
''I heard the (crowd) got a little bit louder,'' Kopitar said. ''Just shows how passionate they are. It's nice to know they're always behind us.''
The Kings' leading scorer and top center is sporting a nasty, jagged cut on his face, but it's nothing hockey players haven't seen before.
''There goes the modeling career,'' coach Darryl Sutter deadpanned. ''Best-looking Slovenian athlete. Hockey players are different than other athletes. Get hit in the face, and they get cut, and they get sewed up and they come back out and play. Very seldom in 30-some years seen a player that doesn't do that. Spit your teeth in your hand. It's good, coach.''
This isn't the first time this season Brown has injured Kopitar, either: The captain accidentally hit his linemate in the face with his stick during a home game earlier this season.
Kopitar was the Kings' leading scorer for the sixth consecutive regular season, scoring 42 points in 47 games. The Slovenian center has just one goal and three assists in eight playoff games, only ending a personal 19-game goal drought in Game 4 of the first round against St. Louis.
But the Kings are excelling again in the postseason without eye-popping numbers from Kopitar. The reigning Stanley Cup champions lead San Jose 2-0 in the series despite getting outplayed for long stretches.
Sleeping was another challenge for Kopitar with his swollen, sutured face, but he figured it out.
''I just wanted to make sure I was always on my right side or on my back,'' Kopitar said. ''I didn't want to roll over to the left, but I got a good night's sleep.''
The rest of the Kings' roster also appears to be improving. Forward Kyle Clifford was in practice with the Kings' regulars Friday after missing the past three playoff games with an undisclosed injury.
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Early in the third period, Los Angeles Kings forwards Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown were leading a rush into the San Jose Sharks zone when disaster struck. Kopitar dropped the puck off for Brown and drove hard to the net when Brown’s slap shot deflected off Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle’s stick and hit Kopitar in the face. Luckily for Kopitar it seems as though the damage is...
Anze Kopitar eats a deflected Dustin Brown slap shot last night. Visors can only protect so much. [BroBible]
He returned because, well - you know.
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Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar showed some real grit during Game 2, taking a puck to the face, but returning to the ice after receiving stitches.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety called San Jose Sharks winger Raffi Torres in for a little one-on-one meeting after seeing his hit to the head of Kings center Jarrett Stoll in the series opener Tuesday night.
The result? He’s suspended for the duration of the playoff series, which means anywhere from 3 to 6 games. Stoll was to sit out game 2 on Thursday due to the hit...
LOS ANGELES -- Facing the prospect of losing home-ice advantage, the Los Angeles Kings rallied with a pair of power-play goals by Dustin Brown and Trevor Lewis, scoring 22 seconds apart in the final minutes for a dramatic 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the San Jose Sharks.
We found a way," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter. You know what, the power play was on, weve been talking...
Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar took a puck to the face, courtesy of a Dustin Brown slapshot, and would have to temporarily leave the game Thursday night. With Jarret Stoll already out, things were looking pretty bleak out there.
Luckily, Kopitar was able to return after missing half the game.
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Its been said that a referee is doing a good job when he goes unnoticed.
However, just three games into the second-round playoff series between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, the officiating has become front and center.
With just four seconds left in regulation and the Kings already a man down, Kings forward Trevor Lewis was called for goaltender...
Captain Dustin Brown tied it with 1:43 left and Trevor Lewis scored the tiebreaking power-play goal 22 seconds later, propelling the Los Angeles Kings to a stunning 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night and a 2-0 series lead.
Brown scored during a 5-on-3 advantage and Lewis provided the winner on a loose puck with 1:21 left, sending Staples Center into shocked celebration...
The San Jose Sharks climbed back into their second round series via a 2-1 OT win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night...
But the Associated Press's recap reports that the Kings were particularly upset with the ways in which the San Jose Sharks were awarded a 5-on-3 in overtime... Continue reading "Sharks’ OT win avoids 3-0 deficit, aggravates Kings,...
LOS ANGELES — Dustin Brown slumped in front of his locker and contemplated the final minutes of Game 2 with the same bewildered wonder felt by all those joyous Kings fans streaming out of Staples Center.
With three minutes left, the San Jose Sharks appeared to be cruising toward a well-deserved win over Los Angeles. After two penalties and two dynamic power play goals, though,...
With about five minutes to play in the second period of a 1-1 game, Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick showed off why he is one of the best goalies in the NHL. San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski came out of the corner with the puck and looked like he was going to tuck it short side when he dished off the puck to Andrew Desjardins. Quick was out of position and looked like...
After spending most of the year in the AHL and scoring 28 goals in 58 games with the Manchester Monarchs and winning AHL rookie of the year, Tyler Toffoli is finally getting his shot with the big club. Toffoli has only played five playoff games for the Los Angeles Kings so far, but he has been looking like a seasoned vet. After San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi left the net...
Boom. Shoulder to shoulder. Didn’t launch. Kept arms and elbows in. As good a hockey play as you’ll see. “DISCIPLINE US FOR THAT!” — Doug Wilson, somewhere drunk probably.
[vid via NHL.com]
A dizzying 22-second span that led to a pair of Los Angeles power play goals turned what appeared to be destined to be a tied series into an 0-2 hole for the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks players say it didn't take much longer than that for them to put their Game 2 collapse behind them and turn their focus to defending home ice the next two games so they can tie their second-round...