LOS ANGELES (CBS Sports) — The Los Angeles Kings are now without their two top scorers for several weeks.
Center Anze Kopitar broke his ankle during the Kings’ 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Kopitar got his skate caught on the ice as he battled along the boards with Avs defenseman Ryan O’Byrne. As he lost his balance, Kopitar’s lower leg twisted awkwardly and he was unable to get up on his own.
King coach Terry Murray told reporters that Kopitar would be out at least six weeks.
“He’s our best player. We’ve got to find a way either way,” Kings captain Dustin Brown told Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. “Injuries happen during the year. You don’t want to have your best player go down, but if that’s the case, we’ve got to shoulder the responsibility collectively and find a way because no other team is going to feel sorry for us.
“It’s an opportunity for someone else to step up. It’s going to be tough to match Kopi’s play both defensively and offensively, and we’ve got to find a way. The staple of our game is defense, and he’s a big part of that when he’s on the ice. Ultimately it’s a five-man, six-man game for us.”
Kopitar was assisted off the ice and went straight to the dressing room after the injury. He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday. He shares the team lead in goals with Brown (25) and leads in assists (48).
Justin Williams, second on the team in scoring, separated his shoulder in a game against the Calgary Flames on Sunday, an injury that could mean the end of his season.