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Kings' Anze Kopitar named NHL's top star of the week

Kings center Anze Kopitar has been named the NHL's top star of the week

It was probably best not to remind Anze Kopitar about what happened to the most recent Kings player to be named the NHL’s No. 1 star.

Kings forward Jeff Carter was the league’s No. 1 star for the week ending Oct. 27 and then went into a prolonged slump, scoring two goals in about the next month and a half.

But Kopitar already toiled through his own tough slump this season. He was named the league’s first star of the week on Monday -- on the basis of his nine-point performance in the last three games. The second and third stars, respectively, were Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

“I just try to ride the wave as long as you can,” said Kopitar, who had a career-high five points on Thursday against St. Louis. “Pretty much play like I normally play and obviously the last couple of games, things have been going well. The bounces have come and just got to build on it.”

Kopitar was talking after Monday’s morning skate, a few hours before the Kings’ final game before the Christmas break. They face the divisional rival Calgary Flames (17-15-3) at Staples Center. Former Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller is scheduled to start for the Flames.

“Tonight is obviously a big game for us, standings wise, points wise,” Kopitar said. “We want to finish this off on the right note before we have this little break.”

He earlier noted how one play can help turn things around for a struggling player.

“I guess so. Sometimes that’s what happens,” Kopitar said. “I started feeling good in the St. Louis game [Thursday] and started making some plays and the game slowed down a bit. Then you can see the game, see the ice a little bit better and away you go.”

Kopitar’s linemate Marian Gaborik helped him along the way to the big week. It was suggested that Kopitar might owe him a dinner.

“Hah. Not just me I guess,” Gaborik said. “We just have to keep it up and keep going.  We have one game before Christmas, before this break and we really need to focus and get these two points. That’s all that matters for right now."

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