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Struggling Kings will be tested if their ‘best player’ is forced to miss time

Anze Kopitar

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 file photo, Los Angeles Kings’ Anze Kopitar, of Slovenia, carries the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. Kopitar has agreed to a new eight-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings announced the deal Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, after months of negotiations. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)


The Kings’ current road trip has been one to forget.

Not only do they have just two wins in six games, but they’ve also seen two key forwards go down with injuries.

Winger Marian Gaborik suffered a knee injury against the Rangers on Feb.12, and his team has dropped each game since then.

Things got a whole lot worse on Thursday, when franchise center Anze Kopitar picked up a lower-body injury in a loss to the Blues.

“He’s our best player, so it’s a big loss for us,” teammates Dustin Brown said of losing Kopitar, per the LA Times. “In saying that, it’s an opportunity for other guys to elevate and for other guys to step into the lineup and have an impact.

“I don’t know the extent of his injury, and all that, but these are the times where you really find out what you’re made of.”

Kopitar is considered day-to-day.

As The Times points out, the Kings have been a bit of a mess at 5-on-5 since the game against the Rangers.

They’ve combined to score just two goals in losses to New Jersey, Washington and St. Louis, and both were on special teams.

Kopitar scored a shorthanded goal against the Capitals, while Tyler Toffoli scored a power play goal against the Blues.

There’s a slim chance Kopitar will be able to suit up in the final game of their road trip, in Nashville on Saturday.

The Kings recalled Michael Mersch from AHL Ontario in case Kopitar can’t go.

If he doesn’t play, the Kings will need to find a way to get the job done because the Pacific Division race is tightening up: