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The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Echo Special Feature: Boston Bruins defeat Los Angeles Kings in historic evening for Kings captain Anze Kopitar

Olivia Madera
Los Angeles Kings captain and center Anze Kopitar played his 650th home game for the Kings, tying former right winger Dustin Brown’s record.

The Echo had the opportunity to take part in the Los Angeles Kings ice hockey team’s Saturday Series on Saturday, Oct. 21 by attending and covering the National Hockey League game against the Boston Bruins at the Arena.

On a historic night for Los Angeles Kings captain and center Anze Kopitar, the Boston Bruins remained unbeaten in the National Hockey League this season to defeat the Kings with a final score of 4-2 on Saturday, Oct. 21. 

The game marked Kopitar’s 1,297th appearance for the Kings, surpassing former right winger Dustin Brown for the most games played in the franchise’s history. In this time, Kopitar has scored 395 goals and lifted two Stanley Cups for Los Angeles. 

Kopitar’s wife and father were in attendance to celebrate the milestone, as well as his son Jakob, who surprised his father by reading the starting lineup ahead of the record-setting game.

“Kopi has scored I don’t know how many goals, he’s played I don’t know how many games, won two cups, all those trophies and international events, but I can guarantee you that what happened tonight in that locker room, with his little guy reading the lineup, will be right up there with the trophies and the rings and everything else that’s there,” Kings Head Coach Todd McLellan said after the game.

Kopitar, who was the first Slovene to play in the NHL, said it will take a little bit more than one night for his accomplishment to set in, and paid tribute to the Kings he has been a part of since 2005.

“I’m very, obviously, honored to be a part of this organization. Very honored to be a part of a couple of winning teams, and you know, I’m extremely happy to be here…wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else,” Kopitar said.

Boston are coming off a landmark season where they set an NHL record for the most wins and points in a season, and currently sit atop the Eastern Conference. Although the Kings managed nine more shots in the game than the visitors, McLellan said the Bruins capitalized on their chances better, and that such statistics can sometimes be misleading.

“It depends where we’re taking them from and what’s coming off of it. Their, I think it was their third goal, they layed one at the net, it wasn’t all that important until the rebound wasn’t swept away and the player wasn’t picked up, and it’s in your net,” McLellan said.

The Bruins opened the scoring in the first period, as in-form right winger David Pastrnak capitalized on the man advantage to score his fifth goal in four games and give the six-time Stanley Cup champions the lead.

In hockey, man advantage is the term used when one team has a numerical advantage over the other as a result of them being charged with a penalty. This is also referred to as a power play. 

In the second period, the Kings leveled the game by way of 21-year-old right winger Alex Laferriere, who scored his first career NHL goal. However, Boston would go on to score three more goals before the Kings found the net again to see off a 4-2 win and deal the Kings their third consecutive home defeat of the season. 

“I think we have a pretty good path right now as a team of where we need to go and what we need to work on…and we can get there. I really believe we can. But now we have some direction, and that’s not a bad thing to have.” McLellan said. 

Laferriere said he will give the puck to his mom or dad to commemorate his first NHL goal, and that it was special to get it against Boston as his father was a Bruins fan growing up. 

“Yeah, it was just an unbelievable play by my linemates. Kevin made a great pass to PL and then PL found me right up the middle. Got a bounce and it went post and in. It felt pretty really relieving, but definitely a good play by them,” Laferriere said. 

With an average age of 26.7, the Kings have one of the youngest squads in the NHL this season, and will look to make the playoffs three seasons in a row for the first time since the 2013-14 season. 

“We’re spreading it around. You know, obviously, our line didn’t get on the scoresheet tonight but we’ll work at it and get back at it tomorrow, and, you know, make sure that we’re ready for Tuesday,” Kopitar said.

The LA Kings return to the Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 24 to face the Arizona Coyotes.

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  • R

    RulaOct 25, 2023 at 12:42 am

    Such a beautiful heartfelt article