The Los Angeles Kings pulled off a playoff miracle on Thursday night, grabbing a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks from the jaws of defeat with two late goals. But the Kings almost didn’t have their best player on the ice for the big finish, as center Anze Kopitar took a puck to the face early in the third period, opening up a serious cut that needed to be closed.
After a trip to the locker room for stitches, Kopitar came back on the ice a few minutes later to a rousing ovation from the home fans. His return buoyed the Kings, who trailed 3-2 when he re-entered the game. Los Angeles wound up scoring two goals in the final two minutes of the game, to snag a win and take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.
Kopitar was nailed in the face with a shot off the stick of teammate Dustin Brown that was slightly deflected by San Jose’s Dan Boyle. Video of the play is after the jump.