LA Kings veteran Dustin Brown on reaching the 300-goal milestone

LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

While his evening may not have ended on an auspicious note, LA Kings veteran Dustin Brown nonetheless had something to hang his hat on in his team’s season-opener against the Minnesota Wild.

On Thursday, Dustin Brown achieved a milestone by scoring his 300th goal. The longtime LA Kings leader, who is sixth on the franchise’s all-time list in goals, spoke with the media on Friday to discuss said achievement.

“Something I’m proud of,” a matter-of-fact Brown said of the milestone. “I actually didn’t even know until after the game because I assumed that Juice got his stick just the way the play happened.”

Juice, better known as Adrian Kempe, was originally given credit for Brown’s goal. The tally made it 3-1 for the LA Kings as Brown wrapped around the Minnesota net before passing it in front to Kempe, who banked it home. However, the replay showed that Kempe never touched the puck, instead bouncing off Wild defenseman Carson Soucy.

LA Kings forward Dustin Brown wasn’t aware of his achievement

When the goal credit was cleared up, Brown admitted that he didn’t know the goal was his until he received some post-game kudos from a teammate.

“But, I think Lias [Andersson] congratulated me after the game. I didn’t know what he was congratulating me for,” the LA Kings’ former captain said. “So, that’s kind of how I found out, but, you know, I guess if you play long enough, you can get to any milestone.”

Being just the sixth player to notch 300 goals in an LA Kings uniform, Dustin Brown has entered some very elite company.

LA Kings vs. Wild
LA Kings (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Along with current teammate Anze Kopitar, Brown also joins Bernie Nicholls, Dave Taylor, Marcel Dionne and, the leader with 557, Luc Robitaille in the club’s 300-goal club. The 18-year veteran was asked how he felt being part of such an exclusive club.

“Yeah, I mean you look at the players before you who had gotten to those milestones– I think one of my best friends texted me that I was, like, the 22nd American to get there, so that was one I didn’t know about,” Brown noted. “Again, it’s just like I said, if you play long enough, you can get to certain milestones.”

As great as hitting the milestone was for Brown, he and his teammates entered the same situation having played their first game in over ten months. Brown elaborated on how he felt playing on the ice after such a long layoff.

“I felt really good. Like, condition-wise, I felt actually pretty good. My body felt good,” stressed the Ithaca, N.Y. native. “My biggest challenge is not having had– we’ve been playing the last couple weeks that are coming at you but not going through you, and that was probably the one difference. So, a lot of those little plays I normally make coming out of the zone, getting it to Kopi on his tape, those are the types of things that were more of a struggle. There’s some fatigue set in maybe late in the game, but after ten months, I felt pretty good.”

As mentioned, though, Brown’s evening did not end on an auspicious note.

In overtime, the former LA Kings captain was just exiting his own zone when he made a no-look drop pass that ended up on the stick of Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov, who beat Jonathan Quick for his first-career NHL goal — in his first-career NHL game — to give Minnesota the win.

The longtime LA King was asked to comment on said play.

“I got the puck from [Drew Doughty] and I just– I had three guys above me,” Brown began. “So, I think, I dropped it back in a really awkward spot. I knew [Doughty] was behind me; he was just further behind me than I thought and it ends up in our net. So, I mean, it’s one of those I’d like to take back, but you got to live with it.”

His finish to the evening may not have been ideal but Dustin Brown’s season-opener was nonetheless a strong one. His goal was also the 97th-career power play tally of his career.

There have been times that have given some fans of the LA Kings reason to dwell on Dustin Brown. Nothing unusual, though. Some mistakes here and there — case in point: Thursday night in overtime — but overall, it is the good that outweighs the bad.

While scoring 300 goals may not put him near the front of NHL’s all-time list, the milestone nonetheless underlines just how important Dustin Brown has been — and still is — to the LA Kings, their ever-loyal fanbase and the community.

In what is now his 18th NHL season, Brown has spent the entirety of his career with one team — an unwavering sense of loyalty we don’t see too often in hockey anymore. Heck, you can speak with many LA Kings fans, and they will continue to refer to Brownie as their captain, even though he hasn’t worn the C since 2016.

Moving forward, many fans hope to see less of Brown’s overtime gaffe but love their unsung star anyway.

He may be older, and he may not produce as often, but Dustin Brown remains a leader and one of the hardest-working combatants on his team, whether they’re on the verge of winning the Stanley Cup or dwelling near, or in, the league’s basement.

There are more than 300 reasons to love — and to be thankful for — Dustin Brown if you are part of the LA Kings family, and when is said and done, his No. 23 will be hanging proudly at STAPLES Center.

Next. Plain and simple, team must clean up penalties. dark

Let’s not think about that just yet, though. Let us instead think about what Dustin Brown has in store to help the LA Kings get in the win column and give them a competitive edge in this unprecedented of seasons.

It is exciting just to think about. Wouldn’t you agree?