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Frolov scores game-winner as Kings topple Sharks

2/18/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Ziggy Palffy and the Los Angeles Kings are
going on the road, the last place the San Jose Sharks want to be.

Alexander Frolov scored with 6:19 to play, lifting the Kings to
a 3-2 victory over the Sharks on Monday night.

Frolov took a feed from Eric Belanger and slapped the puck
through the pads of Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov to give the Kings
their sixth victory in eight games.

''It was an important goal for our team, it was a great pass,''
said Frolov, who has 10 goals in his rookie season. ''I just shot
it. It was an important game for our team, every point is important
now.''

The victory moved Los Angeles to six points of ninth-place
Chicago. The Kings are going on a five-game road trip that could be
key in the race for the playoffs.

The Sharks are heading home after going 1-6 on a seven-game
trip.

''We played a good game, but made some defensive mistakes in the
third period, tired mistakes,'' San Jose coach Ron Wilson said.

''I know we had a tough road trip and the back-to-back games,
but it doesn't matter,'' forward Teemu Selanne said. ''The good
teams find a way to do the job and win games.''

Nabokov played well in his return to the Sharks goal. Miikka
Kiprusoff started San Jose's three previous games.

Nabokov stopped Palffy on a penalty shot early in the
third period, but less than three minutes later Palffy, the subject
of recent trade rumors, lofted a rebound over Nabokov's left
shoulder from a sharp angle. Palffy's 24th goal gave Los Angeles a
2-1 lead.

Palffy's goal was his seventh in eight games. He also has six
assists over that span in which Los Angeles is 6-2.

''He's just been unbelievable,'' Belanger said. ''When he plays
that way, he's one of the best in the league.''

Although Kings officials have listened to offers regarding
Palffy, they recently indicated it would take a phenomenal offer to
trade him.

San Jose rookie Niko Dimitrakos tied it with his first NHL goal
at 8:22 of the third period. He sent a wrist shot from the right
circle past goalie Jamie Storr. Dimitrakos also assisted on a
first-period goal by Marco Sturm.

''It's nice to get a goal, but we need a win to get back on
track,'' Dimitrakos said. ''I got both pucks, but I'd rather have
the win.''

Sturm pushed in a backhander as he broke in from the right wing
to give San Jose a 1-0 lead at 10:11 of the second period.
Dimitrakos earned his first NHL point, in his second game.

Kings center Derek Armstrong tied it with a slap shot from the
top of the circle. The drive deflected off the skate of Sharks
forward Mike Ricci and past Nabokov at 13:39 of the second.

Game notes
Kings forward Steve Heinze missed the game to be with wife
Lori, who gave birth in the afternoon to their second child. ...
Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan was scratched because of the flu. ... Kings center
Erik Rasmussen and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky returned to the lineup.
Visnovsky missed 12 games because of a knee sprain. Rasmussen sat
out the game Saturday due to back spasms. ... While the Kings have
lost 304 man games to injury, the Sharks have lost just 42.