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At the Rink blog

Kings welcome Kopitar back against Avalanche

Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 3:55 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

DENVER -- Center Anze Kopitar will make his season debut for the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Kopitar, who led the Stanley Cup champions in scoring last season with 76 points (25 goals, 51 assists) in 82 games, missed Saturday's season-opening 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks with a sprained right knee he sustained while playing in Sweden during the lockout.

Kopitar will skate between usual linemates Dustin Brown and Justin Williams.

"It feels good," Kopitar said after Tuesday's morning skate. "I just felt good all week pretty much. The last couple practices have been pretty intense and going all out it felt good. I think I'm ready to play. We wanted to be smart, but you can't baby it forever."

Kopitar had to settle for watching Saturday's game on television after taking part in the Stanley Cup banner raising and ring ceremony at Staples Center.

"It definitely wasn't fun," he said. "But it is what it is. I'd much rather play in 47 (of the truncated 48-game regular season) than to get hurt and be sidelined for a lot longer."

Defenseman Matt Greene suffered a back injury on Saturday and has been placed on injured reserve. The Kings recalled Andrew Bodnarchuk from Manchester in the American Hockey League to replace Greene on the roster, but Jake Muzzin will take Greene's spot in the lineup against Colorado.

KINGS

Dustin BrownAnze KopitarJustin Williams

Dustin Penner/Simon GagneMike RichardsJeff Carter

Dwight KingJarret StollTrevor Lewis

Kyle CliffordColin FraserJordan Nolan

Rob ScuderiDrew Doughty

Jake Muzzin – Slava Voynov

Alec MartinezDavis Drewiske

Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Bernier

Scratches: Andrew Bodnarchuk, Brad Richardson

Injuries: Matt Greene, Willie Mitchell

AVALANCHE

Gabriel Landeskog - Matt Duchene - PA Parenteau

Jamie McGinn - Paul Stastny - David Jones

Steve Downie - John Mitchell - Milan Hejduk

Cody McLeodMark Olver - Patrick Bordeleau

Ryan O'Byrne - Jan Hejda

Erik JohnsonRyan Wilson

Greg ZanonTyson Barrie/Matt Hunwick

Semyon Varlamov

Jean-Sebastien Giguere

Scratches: Chuck Kobasew, Shane O'Brien

No injuries

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round