Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar left Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals in the first minute of the third period after he was hit in the face with a puck and missed about nine minutes of play before returning.
Kopitar was struck on the left side of his face 42 seconds into the period on a shot by Dustin Brown that deflected off the stick of San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle. Kopitar was down on the ice before being helped to the dressing room using a towel to control the blood flow.
He drew cheers from the full house at Staples Center when he returned with 10:29 remaining.
The King started the game without forward Jarret Stoll, who was injured during Game 1, which was won by the Kings 2-0.
I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.
— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie