Anze Kopitar didn’t think it was a big deal that he needed several stitches to repair the damage done Saturday when a high stick cut through the side of his right ear in the second period of the Kings’ game against San Jose.
“Honestly, I don’t know. I didn’t count them,” said Kopitar, who went to the locker room briefly but later put the Kings ahead for good in a 3-1 victory over the Sharks. “My ear was ringing for the full second period. I just got light-headed a little bit, so I was more concerned about something else.”
He said Sunday he wasn’t checked for a concussion but felt fine, though the ear caused him some trouble getting to sleep. “And that’s my good side sleeping, too,” he said.
Kopitar had a chance to make up for lost sleep on the Kings’ flight to Calgary, where they will begin a three-game trip Monday. Thanks to Kopitar, they took a hot power play with them to the frozen north.
Including his goal, scored on the rebound of a shot by Marian Gaborik, and Jake Muzzin‘s power-play blast from the left circle at 3:18 of the third period, the Kings have scored power-play goals in five straight games and are 10 for 23 in that span.
Kopitar has been on the ice for nine of those man-advantage goals and contributed one power-play goal and eight power-play assists. Gaborik has scored five of the 10 power-play goals, but Kopitar has been the catalyst in the unit’s success.
“I think we’re finding ourselves in spots we’re comfortable in with the puck. I think that’s why it’s working,” Kopitar said. “Sometimes when things don’t go, it sounds easy but you have to simplify. With that, when you move the puck around you gain confidence with that and then you start making plays that result in goals, and that’s what’s happening right now….
“It’s been going well for us, and now we’re just trying to stay with it and ride the wave for as long as we can.”
Tyler Toffoli‘s game-tying goal Saturday was the 22-year-old’s first goal in 11 games, a long drought for a natural scorer. But Toffoli, who has recently played on the right wing with Tanner Pearson on the left and Trevor Lewis at center, hasn’t let his slump drag down the rest of his game.
“You just want to play the right way. A couple games there I wasn’t playing hard, wasn’t playing the right way,” he said. “And I think the past couple games, although I didn’t score in whatever games, our line was working hard. We were buzzing and it was good. It was fun to have the puck and make plays and do the right things.”
Lewis — who suggested the nickname Triple T for the line — said Toffoli is valuable for more than scoring.
“He makes those great plays on the wall on breakouts that really help us,” Lewis said. “And he’s still been shooting pucks and getting lots of chances. Sometimes they’re not going to go in for you, but you’ve got to keep shooting and he’s been doing that. He got one [Saturday] night so hopefully he can keep going.”
KINGS AT CALGARY
When: 6 PST.
On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 790.
Etc.: These teams met a week ago at Staples Center, where the Flames rallied to tie the game late in the third period on a hat trick by Johnny Gaudreau and won in overtime, 4-3. In his next game, Gaudreau scored twice in 16 seconds as the Flames beat the Oilers, 4-1, on Saturday. The Kings didn’t have a full practice Sunday, but no lineup changes are expected for Monday’s game. Defenseman Robyn Regehr (hand injury) remains out.