Los Angeles at Dallas

Visnovsky nets first career hat trick for Kings

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

DALLAS -- The NHL's new rules allow defensemen to be more involved on the offensive end, and Lubomir Visnovsky is taking full advantage.

Visnovsky scored three goals for his first career hat trick, and rookie Jason LaBarbera made 29 saves to lead the Los Angeles Kings past the Dallas Stars 6-3 Wednesday night.

Sean Avery, Jeff Cowan and Pavol Demitra also scored for the Kings, 6-2 in their last eight games. Visnovsky leads NHL defensemen with 18 points on six goals and 12 assists.

"It's more of an open game," he said. "It's better for offensive (defensemen). I'm getting more chances."

Visnovsky had six shots on goal, and while he contended that he was "lucky" to score three times, his teammates said there's also a lot of skill involved.

"He's in the zone where he's really feeling it," Kings center Craig Conroy said. "He shoots it and it goes in the net. He could probably close his eyes and score. It's pretty to watch."

LaBarbera improved his record to 7-1-0, beating Dallas for the second time this season.

The Pacific Division rivals met for the third time this season, all in Dallas. The Kings have won the last two, outscoring the Stars 13-5.

"Sometimes teams have your number and they're winning a lot of games against you," Stars defenseman Philippe Boucher said. "They're clearly outplaying us right now. We see them five more times this year. It's something that needs to be addressed."

Jussi Jokinen, Mike Modano and Martin Skoula scored for Dallas, 3-4-1 at home.

Stars coach Dave Tippett went with backup goalie Johan Hedberg over Marty Turco, who has been struggling with a 3.64 goals-against average and .872 save percentage. Turco allowed eight goals on 27 shots in two games against the Kings this season for a 7.05 GAA.

Hedberg also had problems with the speedy Kings, stopping only 20 of 26 shots.

"Obviously, I've got to play better than this," Hedberg said. "They are an opportunistic team and tonight they took advantage of their opportunities. Whenever we made mistakes, they were there to take care of it."

Jokinen got Dallas off to a fast start, scoring his fifth goal on a breakaway at 3:51 of the first period.

The Kings drew even when Avery scored from the slot, beating an out-of-position Hedberg at 6:21. Hedberg and Boucher had a communication problem on the play, and Hedberg was just getting back into the net when Avery scored.

"We thought we played a pretty decent first period and that goal was deflating," Tippett said. "There's no way to sugarcoat it. It's deflating for the team. It's a goal that you're giving up that the other team hasn't earned. Those are tough ones to give up."

Cowan's deflection at 16:33 put the Kings in front for good, 2-1.

Los Angeles capitalized on a two-man advantage at 8:17 of the second period when Visnovsky stretched the lead to 3-1.

The Kings made it 4-1 at 9:52 of the second on Visnovsky's second goal, but Modano got Dallas within two at 19:28.

Visnovsky completed his hat trick at 5:50 of the third period on a power play, and Demitra added his eighth at 7:14 to extend the Kings' advantage to 6-2.

Skoula's power-play goal at 15:17 pulled Dallas to 6-3.


  • The Stars were playing their 500th home game (including playoffs) since moving to Dallas in 1993.
  • Stars RW Bill Guerin was out due to back spasms.
  • The Kings were without LW Luc Robitaille (leg fracture).
  • Dallas had three power plays in the first seven minutes, including almost two minutes of a 5-on-3, but couldn't get a shot on goal.
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Kings defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky scores the second of his three goals on Stars' Johan Hedberg. (AP)
Kings defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky scores the second of his three goals on Stars' Johan Hedberg. (AP)
Los Angeles  (9-4-0) «2226
Dallas (6-5-1)1113
Three Stars
L. Visnovsky

Goals: 3
Assist(s): 0
P. Demitra

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
M. Skoula

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
03:51Jussi Jokinen (5), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jere Lehtinen and Trevor Daley
06:21Sean Avery (4), Wrist Shot - Assist: Alexander Frolov
16:33Jeff Cowan, Slap Shot - Assist: Mattias Norstrom
08:17Power Play - Lubomir Visnovsky (4), Tip-In - Assists: Michael Cammalleri and Pavol Demitra
09:52Lubomir Visnovsky (5), Wrist Shot - Assists: Pavol Demitra and Tim Gleason
19:27Mike Modano (5), Tip-In - Assists: Sergei Zubov and Martin Skoula
05:50Power Play - Lubomir Visnovsky (6), Slap Shot - Assists: Jeremy Roenick and Craig Conroy
07:14Pavol Demitra (8), Slap Shot - Assists: Craig Conroy and Alexander Frolov
15:18Power Play - Martin Skoula (2), Wrist Shot - Assists: Brenden Morrow and Niko Kapanen
Penalty Summary
04:11Frolov: Hooking - 2 min.
06:39Avery: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
06:48Kostopoulos: Hooking - 2 min.
12:34Cammalleri: Hooking - 2 min.
01:25Gleason: Boarding - 2 min.
01:25Lessard: Unsportsmanlike Conduct - 2 min.
02:54Avery: Hooking - 2 min.
04:20Belanger: Hooking - 2 min.
04:02Boucher: Hooking - 2 min.
07:12Boucher: Cross Check - 2 min.
07:51Morrow: High sticking - 2 min.
15:39Erskine: Interference - 2 min.
04:24Lehtinen: Hooking - 2 min.
08:56Avery: Fighting - 5 min.
08:56Ott: Fighting - 5 min.
12:29Robidas: Holding - 2 min.
14:50Norstrom: Holding - 2 min.
19:49Morrow: Tripping - 2 min.
Los Angeles7146 27
Dallas12156 33
Attendance - 15732
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Brad Meier, Ian Walsh
Line Judges - Ryan Galloway, Vaughan Rody
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SJ 3