For just the second time in 27 games, Anze Kopitar put the puck to the back of the net in a National Hockey League game.
For the L.A. Kings, this one was pivotal. Kopitar broke a scoreless deadlock with 1:52 remaining in the second period on a mad scramble to the side of San Jose Sharks’ goalie Antti Niemi.
The Kings went on to win the game by a final score of 3-0, and now have a 3-2 series lead over the Sharks in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.
The Kings, defending Stanley Cup champs, are one win away from a berth in the conference final.
If Kopitar was jumping for joy about the goal, he did a pretty good job hiding his emotions afterward.
“It felt great to get us on the board. It doesn’t matter who does it, as long as we do it,” said Kopitar, as per a tweet from Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.
It was actually Kopitar’s second goal of these playoffs. But he went the final 16 games of the regular season without scoring, dating all the way back to March 25.