User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Kings' Kopitar ready to return after cut

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) - Anze Kopitar won't allow a puck to the face to keep him out of the Los Angeles Kings' title defense.

Advertisement
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.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
News: First Round Cheat Sheet
Blues top 'Hawks in OT again, up 2-0
Duchene not likely to play in Wild series
Boston's Lucic fined $5,000 for spearing
Kings, Sharks look to put Game 1 in past
Flyers G Mason to sit out Game 2
Kings stay calm after defensive debacle
Pens wary of Jackets after Game 1 escape
Rangers' Lundqvist has records, wants ring
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
+3,079 NHL This Year
26-14, +1,237 Last 40 Run
9-4 L13 Picks, +1,282 This Year
4-1, +387 Record Yesterday
NHL Pro Hockey Expert Sports Picks
2013 NHL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 3079
Joe Williams + 1282
Doc's Sports + 521
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 470
Gary Bart + 122
   
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1501
Bill Marzano + 620
Joe Williams + 264
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 928
Bill Marzano + 641
Doc's Sports + 610
Yesterday's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 387
Joe Williams + 105
   
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2026
Joe Williams + 1808
Bill Marzano + 989
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!