Robitaille is King on L.A. goal list

first_img With a hat trick in the Kings’ 8-6 victory over Atlanta at Staples Center, Robitaille caught and passed Dionne, his former mentor, to become the most prolific scorer in Kings history, with 552 career goals. Robitaille equaled Dionne’s mark with a goal 4 minutes, 20 seconds into the game and exceeded it 4:56 into the third period on a breakaway, sending the announced sellout crowd of 18,118 into a frenzy. In November, Robitaille missed nine games with a leg injury and last month was benched for three other games because coach Andy Murray was unhappy with his play. But those were distant memories Thursday. Robitaille tied the record in the first period, when he put a nifty move on Atlanta goalie Mike Dunham in front of the net and gave the Kings a 1-0 lead. By the time Robitaille scored again, the game had taken several wild turns and was tied 6-6. Mike Weaver fed a perfect pass to the neutral zone to Robitaille, who often is self effacing about his lack of speed. But Robitaille skated in alone and beat Dunham with a wrist shot for goal number 551. Robitaille’s parents had planned to visit Los Angeles after the All-Star break and watch his pursuit of the record, but Robitaille got the job done early. “My kids have been rooting for me the last few weeks, so this is really special,” Robitaille said. KINGS NOTES: Goaltender Mathieu Garon, who bruised his left shoulder in Tuesday’s game, sat out Thursday. Garon practiced Thursday morning but experienced continued pain in the shoulder. In Garon’s place, Jason LaBarbera made his first start since Dec. 29. The Kings also were without Alexander Frolov, who missed a second consecutive game with the flu. Hurricanes 4, Islanders 3: Eric Staal scored his 30th goal of the season to help Carolina beat visiting New York for its ninth consecutive victory. The winning streak ties the franchise record set earlier this season the previous best of seven came about 21 years ago when the team was the Hartford Whalers. And Carolina improved the NHL’s best home record to 21-4-1. Bruins 5, Flyers 2: Travis Green scored twice to lead visiting Boston past Philadelphia. Sami Kapanen and Simon Gagne scored for Philadelphia, which has lost three games in a row at home since returning from an 8-2-1 road trip. Capitals 5, Blues 4, SO: Matt Pettinger scored in the fourth round of a shootout, giving host Washington a victory. Rangers 4, Penguins 2: Michal Rozsival scored the winning goal late in the third period as visiting New York prevailed. Devils 4, Predators 3, SO: Viktor Kozlov and Brian Gionta scored in a shootout and visiting New Jersey won its eighth consecutive game. Blackhawks 4, Avalanche 2: Kyle Calder scored two goals and Nikolai Khabibulin made 37 saves in his first game back following a groin pull as Chicago beat visiting Colorado. Flames 3, Canadiens 2: Jarome Iginla scored twice and added an assist as Calgary beat visiting Montreal. Coyotes 6, Panthers 3: Shane Doan scored two of Phoenix’s five power-play goals as the Coyotes beat visiting Florida. Canucks 4, Sabres 1: Nolan Baumgartner’s power-play goal broke a tie 4 minutes into the third period and helped Vancouver win at home. Oilers 3, Sharks 2 (SO): Michael Peca and Ryan Smyth each scored shootout goals to help Edmonton snap a three-game losing streak. Rookie goalie Mike Morrison turned back Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau to give the Oilers the win. :Roundup of other games from AP. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “What a moment,” said Robitaille, who was mobbed on ice by his teammates and received a lengthy standing ovation as the celebration delayed the game five minutes. “I didn’t expect that from the crowd. It was overwhelming for a few moments. It’s something that I will cherish forever.” Robitaille capped the hat trick with 3.9 seconds left, when he fired a shot from the opposite faceoff circle, approximately 175 feet away, and into an empty Atlanta net. That goal came after Jeff Giuliano scored the game-winner, with 4:58 left, for his second goal of the game. Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom also had a career game, with one goal and four assists. But the night belonged to Robitaille. Robitaille, the top-scoring left winger in NHL history with 663 goals including stints with Pittsburgh, the Rangers and Detroit turns 40 next month and is in his 19th and perhaps most challenging season. center_img Marcel Dionne took in the kid, his 19-year-old rookie teammate. Gave him a place to live in Los Angeles, a spare room in his house, and imparted some hockey wisdom along the way. It worked out pretty well. Twenty years have passed since then, but Luc Robitaille felt like a kid again Thursday night. last_img read more