Kings beat Golden Knights on back of Anze Kopitar’s five point night
Anze Kopitar had three goals and two assists to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 6-2 win against the visiting Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.
Drew Doughty had a goal and three assists, Dustin Brown added a goal and an assist, and Calvin Petersen made 23 saves for the Kings in their season opener.
Kopitar is beginning his 16th season with the Kings, Doughty his 14th and Brown his 18th.
Shea Theodore and Chandler Stephenson scored for Vegas, which opened its season with a 4-3 win against the visiting Seattle Kraken on Tuesday. Robin Lehner made 27 saves through the first two periods before he was replaced by Laurent Brossoit, who made 14 saves in the third.
Kopitar explodes to lead Kings over Knights
Kopitar completed the hat trick at 12:37 of the third period and set a franchise record for most points in a season opener.
“You just try to stay in the moment, really,” Kopitar said via NHL.com. “You don’t think about that too much. I mean, just play. Like I said, it’s first game of the season, so first and foremost, we wanted to get off to a good start and get the two points in the bank and just kind of go from there.”
Jonathan Quick had started the previous 12 season openers for the Kings, but he served as the backup to Petersen on Thursday.
Petersen made four saves in the first six minutes before Theodore scored at 9:00 of the first period when the puck ricocheted out to him above the right circle and he netted a one-timer for a 1-0 lead.
Brown tied it 1-1 at 13:15 of the first when he took a pass from Doughty while cutting down the left side and converted his own rebound from a sharp angle.
Kopitar scored the first of two power-play goals for the Kings to give them a 2-1 lead with 43 seconds left in the opening period.
Phillip Danault scored on a tip shot to extend the lead to 3-1 at 3:05 of the second period.
Vegas forward Mark Stone, who led the team with 61 points and 40 assists in 55 games last season, was helped to the dressing room at 12:20 of the second period and did not return.
Kopitar scored off a 2-on-1 to stretch the lead to 4-1 at 10:13 of the second period.
Doughty scored the second power-play goal at 1:47 of the third to make it 5-1.
–Field Level Media