A milestone + a big rivalry = a very important game!

What better way to spend your Saturday?

On Saturday, if all goes well — and here we pause to cross our fingers and knock on wood and raise one up to the Hockey Gods — Jeff Carter will play his 1,000th career NHL regular season game. (He’s also got another 120 playoff games under his belt.)

He becomes the latest Kings player to hit the milestone, following Anze Kopitar (1,021 career games) and Dustin Brown (1,135 games). Former Kings Marian Gaborik (1,035 games) and Dion Phaneuf (1,048 games) celebrated similar milestones in years past, as well.

Carter also joins several of his fellow 2003 draftees to reach the milestone, with Corey Perry  beating him to the achievement by mere days — Perry is expected to play his 1,000th game tonight.

It’s quite the accomplishment, too — by my count, only 20 active (non-LTIR) players have played in 1,000 or more games.

And adding to the excitement is the fact that this game will come against the Vegas Golden Knights, the newest and practically instant rival for the Kings. Since the Golden Knights exploded out of their gate in their inaugural season — and, yes, steamrollered over the Kings in the playoffs — the rivalry was sealed. There’s definitely no affection between these teams, not even for former King Brayden McNabb. Every game brings some new kind of drama or bad blood.

This is the second matchup between the Kings and Golden Knights this season — the previous game was a 5-2 loss for the Kings — but this time, the Kings maybe have something extra to play for, knowing that a teammate is reaching such a significant milestone.

The game is being played at home this Saturday, and puck drop is at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time. We will of course break down all the head-to-head team details on game day, so make sure you circle on back over here before the game. If you want to go in person to celebrate My Own Personal Favorite Los Angeles King Jeff Carter, and also see the team take on the Golden Knights, tickets for the game are available via StubHub.

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