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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Anze Kopitar won't allow a puck to the face to keep him out of the Los Angeles Kings' title defense.
Kopitar missed only a few minutes of the Kings' 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night after a third-period shot by teammate Dustin Brown hit him in the left side of his face above his upper lip.
After roughly 20 stitches and an uncomfortable night of sleep, Kopitar returned to practice at the Kings' training complex on Friday. He says he's ready to play in Game 3 on Saturday night at the Shark Tank.
Kopitar was the Kings' leading scorer for the sixth consecutive regular season, scoring 42 points in 47 games. The Slovenian center has just one goal and three assists in eight playoff games.