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Robitaille Ends Scoring Skid

November 17, 2000|JIM HODGES

It was at 13 games and counting Thursday night until Luc Robitaille scored the Kings' final goal in their 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders.

The only other goal over those 13 games had been an empty-netter against the New York Islanders 11 days earlier that was a gift from linemate Glen Murray.

It was designed to jump-start a player who has 561 goals, 14th on the all-time NHL list.

It didn't.

"The important thing is that we're winning," Robitaille said. "If we can have a winning situation by changing roles . . . then that's what we want."

For 14 seasons, Robitaille's role has been that of scorer.

"I've called him in to let him know that he has been playing well for us," Coach Andy Murray said. "For me, he can turn on a red light in other ways.

"He's battling, competing for pucks. He and a number of other players are being asked to do some different things."

The Kings are in an ongoing process of reinventing themselves, trying to become a team of speed, skill and grit.

Murray sees Robitaille as providing some of that grit, based on his ability to fight for the puck in corners and win wrestling matches in front of the net. This from a player whose resume leads with the job description "sniper."

Robitaille is buying it, but only to a point.

"For years, it's always been that, for us to win, I have to score," he said. "I think this team still expects me to score.

"And I think our line is going to have to put up some numbers for us to win."


The Kings will honor their television voice Bob Miller during the first intermission of Saturday's game against the Colorado Avalanche. Miller was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday at Toronto as the winner of the Foster Hewitt Award. . . . Former King and current Islander defenseman Garry Galley suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head by a teammate's shot while in front of the King net in the second period. Galley stayed on the ice for several minutes before skating off and going directly to the New York dressing room.

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