Anze Kopitar is certainly having more fun in the playoffs this year than he did last year. Twelve months ago, Kopitar was on crutches, recovering from surgery necessitated by a devastating late-season leg injury. Now, Kopitar is a major cog behind the Kings’ run to the Stanley Cup Finals. He has recorded at least one point in 12 of the Kings’ 15 playoff games, and with his overtime goal in Game 1 against New Jersey, Kopitar pulled into a tie with linemate Dustin Brown for the team lead in goals (seven) and points (16) in this postseason. True to his nature, when asked about his playoff run, Kopitar deflected the praise…

KOPITAR: “I think our line has been pretty productive throughout this whole playoffs. With Dustin and Justin (Williams) on the wings, they’ve been playing some good hockey, and that certainly helps.’’

That left captain Brown and alternate captain Matt Greene to speak for Kopitar’s game, and not just his offense…

BROWN: “He’s always been a big part of this team. Obviously he gets a big goal for us (in Game 1). That’s what you want your best players to do, is to find ways to win you games, and he did that. The flip side of that is his defensive game. He and Ricky [Mike Richards], they’ve been able to shut down top teams’ lines.’’

GREENE: “He’s awesome. He’s got a lot of skill. He’s been working hard. He’s been clutch for us. When he gets chances, he’s been making them really count, and he did that last night for us.’’

Darryl Sutter was asked about what he knew about Kopitar’s game when he took over the Kings in mid-December. Sutter sometimes give short, curt answers to similar questions — he is regularly asked about Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick in the same vein — but Sutter gave a fairly in-depth answer about Kopitar and his development.

SUTTER: “He plays lots of minutes, plays lots of situations, takes faceoffs. (It) doesn’t bother what style is going on, he can handle it. I think the big thing I tried to impress upon him was just being consistent. It’s no different than any other young player. Obviously he’s getting to play in the playoffs, which is something he’d only done six games before in his career. So obviously if you ask him, that’s probably the biggest (thing) ‑‑ what he would say, is getting to play longer in the playoffs.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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