Kopitar's hat trick propels Kings to 6-2 victory over Vegas

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The Los Angeles Kings are hoping that some of their young players step to the forefront to help end a three-year postseason drought.
But on opening night, it was the veteran standouts from the franchise's two Stanley Cup title runs that led the way.

Anze Kopitar had the Kings' third hat trick in an opener and two assists, and Drew Doughty added a goal and three assists in Los Angeles' 6-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.

Kopitar set a franchise record with five points in an opener. The last time Los Angeles had a hat trick in its first game was Jari Kurri in 1991. Luc Robitaille had the first in 1988.

"I mean, you just try to stay in the moment, really. You don't think about that too much. I mean, just play," said Kopitar, who also tied a career high with five points. "Like I said, it's the 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."

Dustin Brown, playing in a franchise-record 18th season opener, and free-agent signee Phillip Danault also scored for the Kings. Cal Petersen made 23 saves.

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"When your captain can come out and play that type of game tonight, it sets the tone for everybody," coach Todd McLellan said. "Kopi, Brownie and Doughty didn't produce points in the exhibition season, but they were getting themselves ready. It's pretty clear that they were getting themselves prepared to play, and happy for them, happy for…
Associated Press
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