LOS ANGELES — Entering the weekend, Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar was tied with former teammate Dustin Brown for the most games played in franchise history.
On Saturday night, surpassed Kopitar passed Brown and claimed the record solely for himself when he suited up against the Boston Bruins at Crypto.com Arena. It was the 1,297th game of Kopitar’s career.
“It’s obviously a great accomplishment,” Kopitar said. “It’s a little bittersweet, taking it from a good buddy.”
However, it was Bruins captain Brad Marchand who wound up stealing the show. Marchand scored two goals and added an assist as Boston defeated the Kings 4-2.
David Pasternak also scored his fifth goal of the season for the Bruins. He became the first Boston player in 21 years to score a goal in each of the team’s first four games. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman also had a strong night, stopping 32 of the 34 shots that he faced.
For the Kings Carl Grundstrom potted his third goal of the season. However, goaltender Cam Talbot struggled, allowing four Boston goals on 25 shots.
“The game itself, it’s obviously not the outcome that I or we wanted,” Kopitar said. “But you’ve got to move forward. There’s a lot of hockey to be played.”
Kopitar’s Kings career
Born and raised in Slovenia, the Kings selected Kopitar with the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut in 2006, becoming the first Slovenian to ever play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent all eighteen seasons of his career in Los Angeles.
Kopitar played a major role on the Kings’ Stanley Cup teams of 2012 and 2014. In 2016, he was named the franchise’s captain, replacing Brown. Kopitar is currently serving in his eighth season as captain.
Kopitar has been selected to four NHL All-Star Games. He has also won two Selke Trophies—given to the league’s best defensive forward—as well as two Lady Byang Memorial Trophies—awarded to the player who best combines strong play on the ice with good sportsmanship.
Up next, the Kings host the Arizona Coyotes at Crypto.com arena Tuesday night. The Bruins visit the Anaheim Ducks Sunday evening.