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Kopitar To Miss Limited Time
Friday, Feb. 19
On Friday, Kopitar was "considered day-to-day," according to the Los Angeles Times' Lisa Dillman.
The 28-year-old is experiencing a solid bounce-back season after a down 2014-15. After scoring 16 goals in 79 games last year, Kopitar already has 17 in 57.
He centers the first line of the Kings, flanked by former Boston Bruin Milan Lucic and team captain Dustin Brown. That line alone has accounted for over 30 percent of Los Angeles' goals this season.
They're one of the reasons why the Kings are sitting in fourth-place in the Western Conference.
Kopitar is the kind of player to covet on any hockey team. He is strong on the puck and is capable of taking punishment, but he has a soft pair of hands that can fire the puck quickly toward the net.
He's been an integral part of a Kings team that's won two Stanley Cups in the past four seasons. In the 2012 postseason, he led all skaters in goals, assists, points, plus-minus and shorthanded goals. In 2014, he played the role of facilitator and led all skaters with 21 assists in 26 games.
With Kopitar possibly shelved for a few days, Jeff Carter could move up from the second line to fill in. Carter possesses the same kind of scoring as Kopitar with 14 goals in five less games, but it could mess with the chemistry of Los Angeles' second line.
Nicknamed "That 70's Line" because each player has a number in the 70's, Carter, Dwight King and Tyler Toffoli is arguably the Kings' best line. Toffoli leads the team in goals and points while King, who replaced a struggling Tanner Pearson (No. 70), brings a more physical presence to wear down the opposition and set up chances for his other two linemates.
Despite their fourth-place standing in the West, the Kings are nowhere near safe in the playoff picture. Just six points separate them from the eighth spot in the conference, and without one of their top playmakers in Kopitar, the Kings could see that cushion dwindle.
Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com