Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar confirmed he will Tuesday evening against the Colorado Avalanche, marking his return from the minor knee injured he suffered during the NHL lockout, reports John Hoven of Mayors Manor. Kopitar will be making his 2013 season debut in Colorado, after spending most of the lockout playing with Mora IK of Sweden's second highest professional hockey league, the team he was playing with when the injury occurred.
Head coach Darryl Sutter was forced to juggle the top two lines on Saturday, with Kopitar unavailable in the Kings' 5-2 season opening loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. The 25-year-old from Slovenia was replaced on the first line by right winger/center, Jeff Carter. The top line failed to produce much of anything offensively on Saturday, in the team's first game since last season's Stanley Cup triumph. Coach Sutter seemed disappointed by the performance of the top six forwards in the season opener, and hopes that the return of his star center will provide a much-needed boost offensively, via NHL.com correspondent Curtis Zupke on Twitter.
"Hopefully our first and second lines give us some quality minutes…", said Sutter. "It was basically a waste of time the other night."
Kopitar has led the team in scoring over the last five consecutive seasons, including a team-leading 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) in 20 games during last season's playoff run.
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