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Kings' LaBarbera turns back Canucks

He stops 43 shots in a 4-3 victory in Vancouver, his hometown, and is especially sharp in the early going.

January 20, 2008|From the Associated Press

VANCOUVER, Canada -- Jason LaBarbera put on a show in front of his hometown crowd.

LaBarbera stopped 43 shots and the Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-3, Saturday night for their fourth victory in five games.

The goalie had to be sharp early on against the Canucks, robbing Henrik Sedin and then Taylor Pyatt from point-blank range on the first shift of the game, then turning around and stopping Alexandre Burrows on a breakaway the next shift.

"It's fun as long as the puck is hitting you," LaBarbera said. "I felt good out there tonight. Obviously, for me it's a big thrill for me to play in Vancouver. I'm a B.C. kid who grew up watching the Canucks, so for me to play well here is a huge thing for me."

It didn't hurt that he bounced back from a subpar performance Friday night in the Kings' 6-1 loss at Calgary in which he gave up five goals.

"I really didn't feel like I played that bad last night, things just didn't go our way," LaBarbera said. "As a team we knew we had to refocus and regroup. I felt like if I gave the team a chance to win they would find a way to come up with a victory and the guys managed to score a few goals for me."

The Kings built a three-goal lead and then hung on when the Canucks rallied within a goal twice. Vancouver outshot the Kings, 46-24, but was unable to draw even.

Jack Johnson gave the Kings the lead midway through the first period, firing a shot from the point that overpowered goalie Roberto Luongo.

Scott Thornton made it 2-0 only two minutes into the second period with his fourth goal of the season. Four minutes later, Dustin Brown gave the Kings a three-goal lead when he beat Luongo for his 24th goal.

Alexander Frolov's 10th goal restored the Kings two-goal lead with 7 minutes 40 seconds to play in the third period.

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