Kings exit interviews: Anze Kopitar

Here’s some of what Kings center Anze Kopitar said Sunday during his meeting with reporters: “It’s definitely disappointing. We definitely had other plans in mind. It didn’t happen, obviously. We got eliminated. We’ve got to live with this now. It’s going to be a longer summer again. Now is the time to exhale and look back and see what everybody can do better and come back next year ready to go again.

“Teams in this league are pretty good. You can’t just think you’re going to come in and just roll over everybody. I think San Jose was a good example. They just flat-out played better hockey than we did. They got timely goals on their power play. We weren’t as sharp as we wanted to be on the penalty kill and on the power play. That’s what usually makes a difference.”

Game 5 report: Sharks 6, Kings 3

Key play: Joonas Donskoi scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and the San Jose Sharks went on to take a 6-3 victory Friday over the Kings in the decisive Game 5 of the first-round series at Staples Center. Donskoi chipped the puck into the net after a nifty pass from Brent Burns.

The series: The Sharks eliminated the Kings 4-1 and advanced to the second round.

Pivotal performer: Sharks winger Joe Pavelski added an insurance goal for his series-leading fifth of the series. Pavelski and linemates Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl proved to be too much for the Kings to handle during the series, and were the difference makers over the course of five games.

Quote, unquote: “The bottom line is we didn’t play well enough to win the series, and they did,” Kings center Anze Kopitar said. “It showed on the scoreboard. We were chasing the lead pretty much every game. That’s just not the way you play in the playoffs. We made it hard on ourselves, first of all, to lose the first two games in this building. I just feel our game was not where we needed it to be.”

Quote, unquote (part 2): “Yes, 100 percent,” Kings left wing Milan Lucic said when asked if he planned to re-sign with the Kings rather than test the open market as an unrestricted free agent July 1. “I don’t have any plans about thinking about or playing anywhere else. I’m sure there will be a lot of conversations in the near future and I hope it works out for both sides.”

Between the pipes: Jonathan Quick made 22 saves and fell 1-4 during the series. Martin Jones, who served as Quick’s backup until the Kings traded him last summer, made 19 saves to improve to 4-1 in his first five starts in the playoffs after making two relief appearances in 2014 against the Sharks.

Game 1 report: Sharks 4, Kings 3

Key play: Joe Pavelski outhustled and outmuscled Anze Kopitar as he swept around the Kings’ net to score the tiebreaking goal 17 seconds into the third period and the San Jose Sharks took a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series Thursday at Staples Center.

Pivotal performer: Pavelski scored two goals and was impossible for the Kings to contain in both teams return to the postseason after a one-season absence. He had three shots on net and was credited with three that missed the mark in 19:16 of ice time.

Quote, unquote: “You can’t give them too much momentum,” Kopitar said of the Sharks. “We have to do a better job of staying out of the box and that our mistakes don’t result in goals. (The Kings must) limit their time and space (and) make sure we check them correctly. At the same time, make them defend too. We didn’t do a good enough job. We have to correct that.”

Injury update: Kings defenseman Alec Martinez returned to the lineup after suffering an undisclosed injury that sidelined him for the final four regular-season games. Martinez was scoreless in 11:43 in Game 1, and did not play in the third period.

Between the pipes: Jonathan Quick started for the Kings, as expected, and made 19 saves in his 77th career playoff start. Martin Jones, Quick’s backup before the Kings traded him last spring, had 21 saves in his first start in the playoffs.

First look: Kings vs. Sharks


Records: Kings 48-26-6, 102 points (second in the Pacific Division); Sharks 46-30-6, 98 points (third in the Pacific).

Season series: Sharks 3-1-1.

Results: Sharks won 5-1, Oct. 7 at Los Angeles; Kings won 4-1, Oct. 22 at San Jose; Sharks won 5-3, Dec. 22 at Los Angeles; Kings won 3-2 (OT), Jan. 24 at San Jose; Sharks won 5-2, March 28 at San Jose.

Kings leading scorers: Center Anze Kopitar (25 goals, 49 assists), center Jeff Carter (24 goals, 38 assists), right wing Tyler Toffoli (31 goals, 27 assists).

Sharks leading scorers: Center Joe Thornton (19 goals, 63 assists), right wing Joe Pavelski (38 goals, 40 assists), defenseman Brent Burns (27 goals, 48 assists).

Kings top goalie: Jonathan Quick (40-23-5, 2.22 goals-against average, .918 save percentage, 5 shutouts).

Sharks top goalie: Martin Jones (37-23-4, 2.27 goals-against average, .918 save percentage, 6 shutouts.)


Game 1: Staples Center, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., CNBC

Game 2: Staples Center, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Game 3: San Jose, April 18, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Game 4: San Jose, April 20, 7:30 p.m., USA

Game 5 (if necessary): Staples Center, April 22, TBD, TBD

Game 6 (if necessary): San Jose, April 24, TBD, TBD

Game 7 (if necessary): Staples Center. April 26, TBD, TBD

Kings center Anze Kopitar’s quote of the day

Here’s some of what Kings center Anze Kopitar said after they squandered a three-goal lead in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets and now must hope the Washington Capitals defeat the Ducks in order to clinch the Pacific Division title:

“We had the start we wanted and for whatever reason we stopped playing. Obviously, we made a bunch of turnovers that resulted in their goals. The start was good, but the second and third periods were not very good. The frustrating part was we didn’t get the job done tonight.”

Game report: Kings 4, Rangers 3 (OT)

Key play: Anze Kopitar scored on a deflection 1:34 into overtime to give the Kings a 4-3 victory Thursday over the New York Rangers at Staples Center. Kopitar’s second goal of the game and fifth in two contests this season against the Rangers capped a rally from a 3-1 deficit in the third period. The victory enabled the Kings to extend their lead to six points over the Ducks in the Pacific Division.

Pivotal performer: Kings captain Dustin Brown scored one goal, assisted on another and had the puck swiped for still another. Brown scored the Kings’ first goal, assisted on their second and gave up the puck to set up Dan Boyle’s score for the Rangers that made it 2-1 in the second period.

Quote, unquote: “Yeah, we’re looking at the standings, but for us the most important thing is our play and our game,” Kopitar said. “If we take care of that, we believe we’ll be in good shape. It’s that time of the year. You’ve got to sharpen up. You’ve got to tighten up. We’re sitting pretty well, but what is it? Twelve games now? You want to make sure come mid-April you’re game is on. These are the games to sharpen up and get ready for the playoffs.”

Gone streaking: Brown’s first-period goal extended his scoring streak to three consecutive games, the first time he’s scored in that many games in a row since March 2013. Brown ended a 15-game goal drought when he scored Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Between the pipes: Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was 6-2 with a 1.74 goals-against average in eight career games against the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist before Thursday. Lundqvist returned to the net after Antti Raanta was in goal for New York’s 2-1 victory Wednesday over the Ducks.

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar’s quote of the night

Here’s some of what Kings center Anze Kopitar said after a 2-1 overtime loss Saturday to the New Jersey Devils: “I don’t think the energy level tonight was where it needed to be, especially right off the start. The power play was not on tonight. We just didn’t play the way we needed to win the game, especially at this time of the year.”

Game report: Devils 2, Kings 1 (OT)

Key play: Defenseman John Moore scored 4:44 into overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 victory Saturday over the Kings at Staples Center. Moore picked up the puck at the red line, skated down the left wing and then circled the net and fired a shot from a sharp angle past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.

Pivotal performer: Kings center Anze Kopitar scored the tying goal in the closing minutes of the second period, capping a prolonged stay in the Devils’ end of the ice. Kopitar swatted home a loose puck for his 21 st goal of the season, with assists from left wing Milan Lucic and defenseman Alec Martinez.

Between the pipes: Quick made his 55th appearance in goal in the Kings’ 67th game of 2015-16. Quick and backup Jhonas Enroth could split the workload when the Kings play Monday at Chicago and Tuesday at St. Louis. Quick made 22 saves.

Injury update: Kings center Vincent Lecavalier played only 3:12 during the first period. He spent the bulk of the period in the dressing room after taking a tumble over a fallen teammate. He played 5:01 in the second, his more usual ice time.

Milestone delayed: Kings coach Darryl Sutter remained deadlocked with Bob Pulford with 178 victories as their coach, second-most in franchise history. Sutter is 178-106-44 with the Kings. He can break the tie with Pulford with a Kings victory Monday over the Blackhawks in Chicago.

Game report: Kings 3, Canadiens 2

Key play(s): Anze Kopitar and Tanner Pearson scored less than four minutes into the game and the Kings went on to take a 3-2 victory Thursday from the Montreal Canadiens at Staples Center. The victory enabled the Kings to stay in first place in the Pacific Division.

Pivotal performer: Kings forward Dwight King scored a third-period goal on a breakaway after Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban fell and lost control of the puck at center ice. King faked Montreal goalie Ben Scrivens out of position and slipped a shot into the back of the net.

Quote, unquote: “Once I knew how much time I had, that was the first thing that crossed my mind,” King said of faking and then shooting and scoring his seventh of the season. “I figured I’d try it and for once it worked. That’s the first time it’s ever worked.”

Between the pipes: Scrivens returned to Staples Center for the first time since the Canadiens acquired the former Kings backup goalie Dec. 28 from the Edmonton Oilers. Jonathan Quick started for the Kings for the second consecutive game.

Looking ahead: The Kings play host to the Ducks in a Freeway Series battle for first place. The Ducks defeated the Kings 4-2 on Sunday at the Honda Center and are 2-1 against their rivals this season. The Ducks also are 10-1-2 against the Kings in the last 13 regular-season meetings.

Kings center Anze Kopitar, Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen named to Team Europe squad for World Cup

Kings center Anze Kopitar and Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen were named Wednesday to the 16-player preliminary roster of Team Europe for the World Cup of Hockey next fall in Toronto. Kopitar (Slovenia) is the Kings’ leading scorer with 53 points (18 goals, 35 assists). Andersen (Denmark) is the Ducks’ leader with 16 victories. Team Europe is comprised of players outside of the national teams of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden.