Kings winger Marian Gaborik suffered an unspecified lower-body injury while playing Sunday in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto “that we’re still managing,” Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger told reporters Monday. Krueger couldn’t confirm a diagnosis or say when Gaborik would be fit to play again.
Team Europe advanced to the best-of-3 final against Canada with a 3-2 overtime victory in the semifinals Sunday over Sweden. Gaborik was injured blocking a shot during the second period but did continue to play in the third. He departed Monday’s practice on crutches, according to reports.
Krueger wouldn’t say whether Gaborik left with his leg in a cast.
Gaborik has two goals and a team-leading 13 shots on goal in four games while playing on a line for Europe with Kings teammate Anze Kopitar. He scored only 12 goals and 22 points in 54 games last season with the Kings, suffering from a lingering knee injury that forced him to the injured reserve list.
Kings center Anze Kopitar was named Tuesday as Team Europe’s captain for the World Cup of Hockey, which begins Sept. 17 in Toronto. Kopitar, of Slovenia, was joined in the team’s leadership group by alternate captains Zdeno Chara of Slovakia and the Boston Bruins and Mark Streit of Switzerland and the Philadelphia Flyers. Chara and Streit are defensemen.
Kopitar was named the Kings’ captain in June, replacing Dustin Brown in a shakeup in the wake of last season’s first-round playoff exit at the hands of the San Jose Sharks and their failure to make the postseason in 2015. The 29-year-old Kopitar won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward and was honored with the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play this past season.
Here is the TV schedule for the World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament games:
Thursday: North America vs. Europe (Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik), 5 p.m., ESPN2
Friday: Canada (Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin) vs. USA, (Jonathan Quick) 4 p m., ESPNU
Sept. 13: Finland vs. USA, 4 p.m., ESPN
Sept. 14: Canada vs. Russia, 4:30 p.m., ESPN2
The eight-team tournament begins Sept. 17 in Toronto.