The Best Moment from Each Los Angeles Kings Star in 2013
The Los Angeles Kings have had a number of exciting moments in 2013.
The most memorable was raising their 2011-12 Stanley Cup championship banner before their season opener on January 19 at the Staples Center.
A 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks followed the ceremony, and their season would end in similar fashion as the Blackhawks got the best of the Kings in the Western Conference Final.
As for the individuals on the team, some reached milestones and others made highlight-reel plays that won't be forgotten for years.
These are the best moments of 2013 from the Kings' top stars.
Stats courtesy of NHL.com.
Anze Kopitar has been, and will continue to be the top star on the Kings for some time. The Slovenian center can do it all with his size, speed, skill and vision.
He had many brilliant moments in 2013, but the best was reaching the 500-point mark in just his 549th game.
Kopitar tipped Jake Muzzin's pass on to Justin Williams, who notched his 200th career goal to tie the Calgary Flames at one. The Flames would win 2-1, but it was a night to remember for both Kopitar and Williams, who reached key milestones on the same goal.
Kopitar now sits seventh on the Kings' all-time points list with 507 points. He has a long way to go to top Marcel Dionne, but if he stays healthy this season he should lead the Kings in scoring for a seventh consecutive year.
On May 23, 2013 Jonathan Quick shut out the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals to earn his 27th career playoff win. With the win, he passed L.A. legend Kelly Hrudey on the team's playoff wins list in just his fourth postseason.
This was also a crucial win as it gave the Kings a 3-2 lead in the series, which they would go on to win in Game 7.
Fast-forward to December. Quick is out with a groin injury, but Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones have been nothing short of dominant in his absence.
Don't expect that to prevent Quick from returning to the crease as soon as he's healthy, however. The 27-year-old American netminder is one of the world's best in crunch time. Quick—the 2012 Conn Smythe winner—is just 12 regular-season wins and six shutouts behind Rogie Vachon on the Kings' all-time list.
Drew Doughty may not be playing at the level he did in 2009-10 when he earned a Norris Trophy nomination, but he hasn't been far off.
He continues to thrive at both ends of the rink, with his speed a major reason for that—as you can see on this play.
The 24-year-old defenseman does something few players in the NHL can say they've done: Level Pavel Datsyuk with a good, clean open-ice hit. The Russian forward is one of the most skilled and elusive in the game, which makes this hit all the more impressive.
Doughty goes from deep in the offensive zone to the slot in his own end in a matter of seconds to eliminate a scoring chance. It's game-changing plays like this that make Doughty a lock for Team Canada at the upcoming Sochi Olympics and should lead to more Norris Trophy nominations in the coming years.
Jeff Carter proved during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season that he is one of the NHL's top snipers. He finished fourth with 28 goals behind Alex Ovechkin (32), Steven Stamkos (29) and John Tavares (28).
Here we see three of those goals as Carter records a rare natural hat trick against the usually defensively-sound Nashville Predators. It was the fifth hat trick of his career.
The Kings would add two more goals before the Predators finally ended Jonathan Bernier's shutout bid, but L.A. held on to win, 5-1.
Although Carter has had just two multi-goal games since, he is still an offensive threat and has registered 21 points in 28 games this season.
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