The Pacific Division is absolutely stacked. Outside of the San Jose Sharks, everyone is looking to have a good year in 2023-24. That includes the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights who played against each other on Wednesday night.
Both of these teams are incredible right now and each of them wants to compete for the Stanley Cup this year. Coming into this game, Vegas led the Pacific Division (and the NHL) with a record of 11-1-1 and the Kings were in third with a record of 7-2-2. What a powerhouse match it was set to be.
After the first period, the two teams were still tied with no score. It remained that way until Adrian Kempe scored at 11:30 of the second period to make it 1-0 Kings. Less than 5 minutes later, Trevor Moore gave them a 2-0 lead on the power play and they carried that into the second intermission.
2:42 into the third period, Pierre-Luc Dubois scored another power-play goal and the Kings had a 3-0 lead. From there, it seemed pretty obvious that the Kings were going to win.
William Karlsson did score a goal at 14:33 of the third period so they needed two more to tie in the final five minutes of the game. Instead, however, Anze Kopitar threw one into the empty net at 19:48 to seal the victory. It was a 4-1 win for the Kings over the division-leading Golden Knights.
The Los Angeles Kings are lucky to have had Anze Kopitar for all these years.
This goal was Kopitar’s seventh goal of the season but it was also the 400th of his incredible career. It has been an incredible ride for him and he should be in the Hall of Fame when it is all said and done.
Seeing Kopitar score his 400th goal is awesome for hockey fans. He has been one of the best players in the NHL for a long time. Being the star of the Kings over on the West Coast, he might not be in the limelight as much as some of the East Coast stars but there is no doubt that he has been incredible.
We are talking about a two-time Stanley Cup champion, a two-time Selke Trophy winner, and a two-time Lady Byng Award winner. He has 1154 career points as well to go with his incredible two-way play.
To be honest, he is right there with Patrice Bergeron as the best two-way player of this generation. Bergeron was better but Kopitar was closer to that level than some people may realize. It has been amazing season after amazing season.
Now, Kopitar and the Kings are right back in contention which is where they always seem to be since he’s arrived there. They had a few retooling years there but the last two years have seen them come all the way back.
Their next game will come on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. At 36 years old, Kopitar still has some amazing hockey left in him so we’ll see how close to 500 he can get. Congrats to him on all of the success.