Los Angeles at Chicago

Penalty killing unit once again up to task for Kings


CHICAGO -- Perfect penalty killing was the difference again for the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings were 6-for-6 in short-handed situations and beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 Friday night.

Los Angeles has turned away 21 straight power-play chances by opponents -- including a 5-on-3 against the Blackhawks -- and has not allowed a power-play goal in three games. The last time the Kings were touched up for a man-advantage goal was midway through the second period of a 4-0 loss at Phoenix on Nov. 3.

"Our penalty killing came up very big for us when we needed it in the second period," Los Angeles coach Andy Murray said. "It's common knowledge that your best penalty killer is your goalie. He was really there for us when we needed him."

Mathieu Garon made 23 saves in his eighth game of the season. He entered the game with a 2-3 record and 3.24 goals-against average. He's been overshadowed in Los Angeles this season by rookie Jason LaBarbera, who is 8-2-1 with a 2.44 GAA.

Garon stepped into the limelight against the Blackhawks.

"This is what you want to show every time," Garon said. "I think we played good. We killed a lot of penalties."

Los Angeles center Jeremy Roenick, formerly of the Blackhawks, said Garon's effort gave the Kings a boost as they improved to 11-5-1 and remained atop the Pacific Division.

"LaBarbera has really come in and grabbed all the attention," Roenick said. "He (Garon) needed to come out and have a solid effort. Mathieu came in and made a statement tonight."

The Kings' Eric Belanger had a goal and assist, and Michael Cammalleri, Alexander Frolov and Craig Conroy also scored for Los Angeles.

Brent Seabrook and Mikael Holmqvist scored for the Blackhawks, who got 23 saves from Nikolai Khabibulin.

"I don't think you can fault him on any of the goals," Blackhawks coach Trent Yawney said. "I thought we played a solid game and didn't get the results again. We made a couple of mistakes late in the first period and that shifted the momentum."

Seabrook opened the scoring with 5:13 left in the first period when his screened wrist shot from the point struck Garon and deflected in.

Belanger tied it 1-1 with 1:37 remaining in the first. From just outside the crease, he chipped a rebound of Jeff Cowan's shot from right wing between Khabibulin's pads.

Cammalleri's deflection with just 5.3 seconds left in the period put Los Angeles ahead 2-1. As he cut through the slot, Cammalleri redirected Dustin Brown's feed from the left boards past Khabibulin's glove.

Frolov made it 3-1 at 1:54 of the second as the Kings capitalized on a failed Chicago clearing attempt. Belanger picked up a loose puck just inside the blue line, skated to the net, then passed across the slot to Frolov, who fired into an open net.

Conroy's power-play goal with 1:40 left in the second period extended the lead to 4-1. His pass attempt across the crease was blocked by Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith. But the puck bounced back onto Conroy's stick and he fired a shot over Khabibulin's shoulder.

Holmqvist completed the scoring with nine seconds left.


  • Conroy has scored in three straight games.
  • Los Angeles C Derek Armstrong sat out with a recurring groin injury. He played Wednesday in Colorado after missing five straight games.
  • Kings D Mike Weaver missed his fifth game with a broken foot, but is scheduled to rejoin the team Saturday in Columbus.
  • Belanger's goal was his 50th with the Kings.
  • Chicago D Jassen Cullimore missed his second straight game because of the flu.
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Kings goalie Mathieu Garon stops Mark Bell's attempt for one of his 32 saves on the night. (AP)
Kings goalie Mathieu Garon stops Mark Bell's attempt for one of his 32 saves on the night. (AP)
Los Angeles  (11-5-1) «2204
Chicago (6-11-0)1012
Three Stars
E. Belanger

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Garon

Saves: 32
Save Pct.: .941
C. Conroy

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
14:47Brent Seabrook (3), Tip-In - Assist: Martin Lapointe
18:23Eric Belanger (4), Tip-In - Assists: Nathan Dempsey and Jeff Cowan
19:54Michael Cammalleri (4), Tip-In - Assists: Dustin Brown and Mattias Norstrom
01:54Alexander Frolov (8), Slap Shot - Assist: Eric Belanger
18:20Power Play - Craig Conroy (7), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jeremy Roenick and Lubomir Visnovsky
19:51Mikael Holmqvist (3), Backhand Shot - Assist: Todd Simpson
Penalty Summary
00:27Cammalleri: Hooking - 2 min.
04:27Avery: Hooking - 2 min.
08:37Simpson: Interference - 2 min.
11:52Calder: High sticking - 2 min.
16:21Ellison: Hooking - 2 min.
06:13Norstrom: Holding - 2 min.
10:10Avery: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
11:35Demitra: Tripping - 2 min.
14:12Miller: Tripping - 2 min.
16:17Arnason: Holding - 2 min.
18:10Seabrook: High sticking - 2 min.
09:09Parros: Fighting - 5 min.
09:09Simpson: Fighting - 5 min.
12:45Barnaby: Roughing - 2 min.
14:14Aucoin: Roughing - 2 min.
Los Angeles1197 27
Chicago101410 34
Attendance - 18376
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Chris Rooney, Brad Watson
Line Judges - Andy McElman, Mark Pare
Other Games
NJ 4 Final
Wash 3
TB 2 Final
Atl 5
Edm 3 Final
Colu 1
Car 1 Final
Fla 0
Min 1 Final
Det 3
Tor 2 Final
Buf 5