"I didn't go all-out right off the hop," Kopitar said. "Just curious to explore the turns and stuff, and I didn't have any problems. I thought it would be a little worse than it was. ... I'm very optimistic. It's in my nature."
The Kings' No. 1 center is unlikely to play Saturday when Los Angeles opens defense of the first Stanley Cup in franchise history against Chicago. But the Kings are hoping he won't miss much more than that. Coach Darryl Sutter was encouraged by Kopitar's post-practice return to the ice just nine days after he was injured in a collision while playing for Mora IK in the Swedish Elite League.
Kopitar has led the Kings in scoring in each of the past five seasons. He had 51 assists and 76 points last season, then tied teammate Dustin Brown for the scoring lead during the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 20 points.