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In stitches: Anze Kopitar will gladly sacrifice modeling career for LA Kings' playoff success

Friday, 05.17.2013 / 6:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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In stitches: Anze Kopitar will gladly sacrifice modeling career for LA Kings' playoff success

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Anze Kopitar won't allow a puck to the face to keep him out of the Los Angeles Kings' title defence.

Kopitar missed only a few minutes of the Kings' 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night after a third-period shot by teammate Dustin Brown hit him in the left side of his face above his upper lip.

After roughly 20 stitches and an uncomfortable night of sleep, Kopitar returned to practice at the Kings' training complex on Friday. He says he's ready to play in Game 3 on Saturday night at the Shark Tank.

Kopitar was the Kings' leading scorer for the sixth consecutive regular season, scoring 42 points in 47 games. The Slovenian centre has just one goal and three assists in eight playoff games.

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I definitely think going back down helped me, I had a lot of confidence down there, I played a lot of minutes and I think that helped me a lot. With the 37 games up here, that gave me experience as well. I know what it takes to play in the NHL and now it's time for me to show that I'm capable of being a full-time NHL player.

— Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on finishing the 2014-15 season in juniors after playing 37 games with Edmonton to begin the season