The Los Angeles Kings won the battle Saturday, but it looks as though their hopes at winning the war to lock up a playoff spot has taken a significant blow now that star Anze Kopitar has broken his ankle.
Kopitar will out of the Kings lineup a minimum six weeks, head coach Terry Murray said after the 4-1 win Saturday afternoon over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
Kopitar broke his ankle while battling Ryan O'Byrne for the puck late in the second period with the Kings leading 2-0, when the Slovenian got tangled up with the Avalanche defenceman and fell awkwardly.
The Kings' leading scorer, who has 26 goals and 73 points in 75 games this season, is slated to be further evaluated Monday.
Kopitar's injury comes less than a week after the Kings lost forward Justin Williams, who is second in team scoring, to a dislocated shoulder Monday.
"(Kopitar is) our best player. Weíve got to find a way either way," Kings captain Dustin Brown told the Los Angeles Times after the game. "Injuries happen during the year. You donít want to have your best player go down, but if thatís the case, weíve got to shoulder the responsibility collectively and find a way because no other team is going to feel sorry for us."
The injury ends Kopitar's team-record ironman streak at 330 games.