Los Angeles Hockey: NHL All-Star game

Kings: A star emerges from the clouds

January, 11, 2011
EL SEGUNDO — In a month of lows and even further lows, one member of the Kings received good news Monday night.

Shortly after the Kings lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, their sixth loss in the last seven games, center Anze Kopitar learned he was named to the Western Conference All-Star team that will play Jan. 30 in Raleigh, N.C.

It’s the second All-Star selection for the 23-year-old Slovenian, who made his first appearance three years ago.

"I’m going to enjoy it a little more than I did the first time,” he said. “You really want to soak it in as much as you can because you never know when it’s going to happen again.”

Kopitar learned at practice Tuesday that he was at the center of another on-ice decision, this one by Kings coach Terry Murray, who moved Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams up to the first line with Kopitar. The trio had success playing together early last season, and with the team struggling to get wins, Murray decided it was time to further shake things up.

Murray has used nine different starting top line combinations this season.

“[Murray] is showing that he’s not afraid to mix the lines,” Kopitar said. “Hopefully, we can produce and hopefully we can stay together for a long period of time.”

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