It was no coincidence that Kings center Anze Kopitar began to heat up after the acquisition of forward Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets before the March 5 trade deadline. Kopitar had 18 points, including 10 goals, in the 19 games after Gaborik joined the Kings for a March 6 game against the Winnipeg Jets. Kopitar went on to lead the Kings with 70 points and 29 goals in 82 games. Gaborik finished the season with 30 points, including 11 goals, in 41 games. He had 16 points, including five goals, after he was dealt to the Kings.
“Once he came here, you try to get to know him as quick as you can and build some chemistry and I think me, Marian and Justin have done a pretty good job,” Kopitar said, referring to Justin Williams, the third member of the Kings’ top line. “It feels like we’ve jelled together pretty well. I think all three of us want to play a give and go game. He’s certainly the type of player who likes to do that. We’ve talked about it. The offensive zone time, we’ve tried to mix it around and get a lot of zone time.”