The Los Angeles Kings have been on a trying journey since Anze Kopitar was sidelined with an upper-body injury and it’s led to them going on a 0-2-1 stretch with just four combined goals. Fortunately, Kopitar should be available for Sunday’s game against Carolina.
“I’m planning on [playing], unless there’s something really drastic that happens, but I don’t think I’m going to be doing anything this afternoon,” he told LA Kings Insider. “Hopefully it stays that way, and hopefully I feel like that tomorrow.”
When Kopitar was hurt, the Kings’ unusual cap situation stemming from Slava Voynov‘s indefinite suspension that doesn’t take him off the cap led to them playing shorthanded against the Flyers. Los Angeles was able to call up a player for its next game.
More than that though, the absence of Kopitar added to the Kings’ underlining offensive problems. Much of Los Angeles’ early success has been thanks to That 70s Line, which consists of Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter, and Tanner Pearson. Those three slowed down at the same time Kopitar went on the sidelines and that combination has been bad for the Kings.
Getting Kopitar back is likely necessary to counter their early season single line dependency. It would also help the Kings substantially if Marian Gaborik was healthy enough to play. He’s not expected to be available on Sunday, but is “very close.”
The first ramification of Slava Voynov’s suspended-indefinitely-but-still-on-the-books situation has come about, as the Kings will play with less than a full compliment of players tonight in Philadelphia.
Anze Kopitar is out with an upper-body injury and because the club is operating so close to the salary cap ceiling, it is unable to get a replacement forward in the lineup.
More, from the L.A. Times:
Per LA Kings Insider, the Kings have been in “ongoing conversations” with both the NHL and PA regarding potential cap relief for Voynov, who is still on the books at $4.16M — despite the fact he’s not available to play while under investigation for allegations of domestic assault.
As a result, the Kings will have 11 forwards tonight: Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Dwight King, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford, Jarret Stoll, Justin Williams, Andrey Andreoff and Jordan Nolan.
Kopitar, Marian Gaborik and Trevor Lewis (both of whom are on IR) are out.
Los Angeles forward Jeff Carter, Edmonton goalie Ben Scrivens and Islanders center Frans Nielsen were named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 26, the league announced on Monday.
Carter tied for the League lead with six points (2-4—6) in two outings to help the Kings (6-1-1, 13 points) complete a perfect six-game homestand for the first time in franchise history.
Scrivens posted a 3-0-0 record with a 2.33 goals-against average and .920 save percentage to lead the Oilers (3-4-1, 7 points) to their first three-game winning streak since Jan. 26-29.
Nielsen tied for the League lead with four goals in three games to power the Islanders (6-2-0, 12 points) to a pair of victories, helping the team match its best eight-game start in the last 31 years (2001-02: 6-0-1-1).
Quite the turnaround from Scrivens — his three-game winning streak came after a dreadful start to the season in which he allowed 15 goals on 99 shots (.848 save percentage), and was the goalie of record for three of Edmonton’s five losses to open the campaign.
The Los Angeles Kings earned a 5-2 victory over Columbus Sunday afternoon to extend their winning streak to six games. It came at a price though as Anze Kopitar suffered an upper-body injury, per the Kings’ Twitter feed. That severity is not yet known.
Update: Kings coach Darryl Sutter said after the game that Kopitar is alright. When asked if Kopitar would travel with the team, Sutter repeated his previous statement, per LA Kings Insider.
Kopitar has been a key member of the Kings for years, but their offense has largely come from a different source so far this season. That 70s Line — which consists of Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, and Tanner Pearson — continued to excel by combining for four of the Kings’ goals today.
Pearson in particular stood out with his sixth and seventh goals of the season.
Carter and Toffoli each recorded four points to both finish the day with 12 points in eight contests. Pearson isn’t far behind with nine points in eight games.
Columbus’ Ryan Johansen picked up an assist to extend his season-opening point streak to eight contests. Their play was overshadowed though by the fact that Nick Foligno was taken off the ice on a stretcher after Jeff Carter hit him into the boards along the Kings’ bench, which led to Foligno colliding into a linesman.
The good news is that Foligno was alert and able to talk to the medical staff.
What started out with a hit that didn’t look that unusual turned ugly quickly in Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Midway through the third period, Kings forward Jeff Carter hit Columbus’ Nick Foligno into the boards along the Kings’ bench. Foligno continued to be pressed against the boards as both players moved forward, but a linesman was sitting on the Kings’ wall to avoid the play. Foligno’s head appeared to collide into the linesman and the 26-year-old forward fell to the ice.
After being evaluated, he was taken off the ice on a stretcher. He was alert and able to speak with the medical staff, per the Blue Jackets’ Twitter feed. He will continue to be examined at the Staples Center.
Update: Blue Jackets president John Davidson said that Foligno “will be fine,” according to the Kings on Twitter.