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Kings' Anze Kopitar ready to end goal drought

April 05, 2013|By Helene Elliott
  • Kings' Anze Kopitar waits for the puck to drop as Los Angeles takes on the Vancouver Canucks.
Kings' Anze Kopitar waits for the puck to drop as Los Angeles takes… (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles…)

Kings center Anze Kopitar had enough top-notch scoring chances Thursday to have racked up three or four goals against the Minnesota Wild. He didn’t convert any of those chances, which extended his goal drought to five straight games and he has scored only one goal in his last nine games.

Instead of becoming frustrated over not scoring, having had so many prime opportunities has reassured Kopitar that his streak is bound to end soon. He's hoping to become as productive as his right wing Justin Williams, who has scored goals in five straight games.

“It would worry me if I didn’t have chances, if I didn’t have shots, if I wasn’t around the net,” Kopitar said Friday. “I’m sure you’ve heard that before. It’s nothing new.

“You’re getting chances, one of these days something is going to go in and then I’m going to go on a little run like Justin is now. He’s got the hot stick right now. Hopefully he keeps it going.”

Kopitar, who has three assists during his goal-scoring drought and is plus 6 defensively, leads the Kings with 33 points in 36 games. Williams’ success has lifted him into a tie with Kopitar for second on the team with 10 goals each, behind Jeff Carter’s team-leading 21. Kopitar joked that Williams’ success has inspired him to shake his own slump.

“He actually caught me now,” Kopitar said. “That’s going to come into play now. It’s where I put it into overdrive and take off.”

Williams has faith that Kopitar will keep his word.

“A little competition,” Williams said, smiling. “Kopi doesn’t get angry very often. Look out when it does.

“He had a few good chances [Thursday] night. He had a partial breakaway. Hey, obviously it goes in spurts. Everyone knows that. [Carter] had his time and now I’m scoring a bit. It just works in cycles. As long as you have a couple guys that are putting the puck in the net at the right time, it’s good. When everyone goes into a funk at the same time, that’s when it’s not
good.”

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