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Kings win again behind Labarbera's effort in net

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.

Game 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.