Kings center Anze Kopitar, mired in one of the longer slumps of his career, recognizes the correlation between his personal scoring woes and the state of the team.
“I’ve been through this in the past,” he said Tuesday after the morning skate here. “Everybody has. In the beginning, we were winning games and I wasn’t worried as much. Now we’re not winning as many games.
“I think everybody will tell you on the team that it’s really not about the personal production. As long as we’re winning games, it doesn’t really matter who gets it done. Yes, in order for us to win games, I realize that I’ve got to be the guy.”
Kopitar is refreshingly humble. He has led the Kings in scoring the last seven seasons — a genuine star in the NHL — but doesn’t have that off-ice swagger.
Against the Blues, it looks like he will start on a line with captain Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter. The bottom two lines were tweaked, most notably, Tyler Toffoli landing on the fourth line with left wing Kyle Clifford and center Trevor Lewis.
With 13 points in 27 games, Kopitar is seventh among the Kings in scoring, one point behind the rookie Pearson and one ahead of center Mike Richards. And curiously, his usually stellar plus-minus rating has slipped to a minus-four.
“It’s obviously not great,” said Kopitar, who has one goal in his last 13 games. “You do not want to be in this position, obviously, personally.
“But things are the way they are right now, you can’t look back. You can only look ahead, try to improve and try to get better. I don’t think there’s any secret to it.
Follow Lisa Dillman on Twitter @reallisa