|STL||2||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|LAK||2||2||1||(0 - 0)||5|
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Craig Conroy has been Pavol Demitra's teammate in two places and he knew the Slovakian star would be revved up for his first game against the St. Louis Blues.
He just didn't know how excited.
Demitra scored twice Saturday night in the Los Angeles Kings' 5-2 victory over the Blues and seemed to be especially focused against his former teammates.
"Usually I kind of understand him, but tonight I couldn't even understand what he was saying," said Conroy, who also played with Demitra in St. Louis. "I think it was Slovak. I don't know. He was pretty happy, though. It was nice to see him get a couple of goals because he played there so long."
Demitra has seven goals in 13 games this season with the Kings, who snapped a six-game skid against the Blues.
Demitra is fifth on the Blues' career list in goals, assists and points, and made the All-Star team three times in seven-plus seasons. He never could get them past the conference finals, which made him expendable.
But the Kings, who signed him as a free agent in August, are banking on his talents to get them to the next level.
"I got to play against Pavol in the minors, and I think he got nine points against us one night in Fredericton - so I knew he was going to be a special player," Conroy said. "When he first came to St. Louis, I remember Brett Hull looking at his stick and saying, 'This is a goal-scoring stick.' And he usually doesn't say many nice things about anybody's stick. Usually, he just says, 'This is awful,' and just throws it away."
Alexander Frolov had two goals and an assist for Los Angeles. Eric Belanger also scored for the Pacific Division-leading Kings, who beat the Blues for the first time since Dec. 17, 2002, when Belanger's first career hat trick fueled a 6-2 victory.
Rookie Jason LaBarbera made 29 saves, and has won all six of his starts. He allowed two goals on 14 shots against San Jose on Friday after replacing Mathieu Garon, resulting in his only loss this season.
Petr Cajanek and Jay McClement scored for St. Louis. The Blues played without captain Dallas Drake, who began serving a two-game suspension following his hard check on Anaheim rookie Corey Perry on Friday.
Drake was not called for a penalty, but Perry received a concussion that landed him on the injured list.
The Blues - already missing Keith Tkachuk because of three cracked ribs, goaltender Patrick Lalime for the second straight game with a bruised left knee and defenseman Christian Backman with an injured left shoulder - lost center Doug Weight in the second period because of concussion-like symptoms.
Belanger put the Kings ahead 3-2 at 13:30 of the second with a short wrist shot from the right of the net that beat backup Reinhard Divis high to the glove side. Frolov added his second of the game and sixth of the season at 15:15 of the period. The goal came just nine seconds after St. Louis' Aaron Downey received a misconduct.
"They had so many quality chances," Divis said. "They dump the puck and go for the score. We don't do that, and that's why we don't win games."
Demitra scored with 6:11 remaining to complete the scoring. He tied it 2-2 at 16:55 of the first period.
"I'm just glad this game is over and we won," Demitra said. "It was a weird feeling, because I played there for eight years and I knew most of the guys and the coaches and everyone. It's probably going to be worse when we go to St. Louis because I've got so many friends there."
Cajanek gave the Blues a 1-0 lead 41 seconds in. Frolov tied it on a power-play at 13:56.
The Kings were playing home games on consecutive nights for the first time in 11 seasons.
Notes: Drake will be eligible to return next Friday when the Blues face Edmonton at St. Louis. The suspension will cost him $12,408.16 in salary. ... St. Louis recalled G Curtis Sanford from Peoria of the AHL to serve as Divis' backup. But because of the NHL's 48-hour goaltender exemption rule, the Blues did not have to remove a player from their roster. ... The Kings activated LW Jeff Cowan, who hadn't played since injuring his groin in his first game of the season. LW Noah Clarke was sent back to Manchester of the AHL after one game with Los Angeles. ... Kings C Derek Armstrong missed his second straight game because of a sore groin.
|Petr Cajanek Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Sillinger , Jeff Hoggan|
1 - 0 STL
|PPG - Alex Frolov Wrist shot - ASST: Dustin Brown , Lubomir Visnovsky|
1 - 1 Tie
|Jay McClement Slapshot - ASST: Mark Rycroft|
2 - 1 STL
|Pavol Demitra Wrist shot - ASST: Alex Frolov , Joe Corvo|
2 - 2 Tie
|Eric Belanger Wrist shot - ASST: Craig Conroy , Sean Avery|
3 - 2 LAK
|Alex Frolov Wrist shot - ASST: Craig Conroy|
4 - 2 LAK
|PPG - Pavol Demitra Wrist shot - ASST: Michael Cammalleri , Lubomir Visnovsky|
5 - 2 LAK
|Eric Weinrich Holding against Alex Frolov|
|Eric Weinrich Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Dustin Brown Tripping against Bryce Salvador|
|Bryce Salvador Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|George Parros Fighting (maj) against Matt Walker|
|Matt Walker Fighting (maj) against George Parros|
|Doug Weight Boarding against Sean Avery|
|Jeff Cowan Slashing against Matt Walker|
|Bryce Salvador Hooking against George Parros|
|Pavol Demitra Hooking against Jamal Mayers|
|Craig Conroy Hooking against Jay McClement|
|Aaron Downey Misconduct (10 min)|
|Jeremy Roenick Hooking against Petr Cajanek|
|Jeff Hoggan Interference on goalkeeper against Jason LaBarbera|
|Barret Jackman Holding against Lubomir Visnovsky|
|Joe Corvo Roughing against Jeff Hoggan|
|Matt Walker Slashing against Sean Avery|
|Eric Weinrich Hooking against Eric Belanger|
|Luc Robitaille Tripping against Ryan Johnson|
|SA: 30||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 25||EV: 21 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 5|
|SV%: .833||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 31||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 29||EV: 23 - 25|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: .935||SH: 1 - 1|