Robitaille netted three goals for his 15th career hat trick and passed Marcel Dionne to become the team's career leading goal-scorer Thursday night in a wild 8-6 victory that snapped the Atlanta Thrashers' five-game winning streak.
"It's certainly something I'll cherish forever," Robitaille said. "It was an amazing night. Nights like this are always fun when you win on top of it. I wanted it to happen earlier, but it was special to do it at home. I have so many great memories here."
Rookie Jeff Giuliano scored twice, including the go-ahead goal with 4:58 remaining. Dustin Brown and Tom Kostopoulos also scored for the Kings, who got a shorthanded goal from defenseman Mattias Norstrom. Jason LaBarbera made 33 saves in his first start since Dec. 29. Mathieu Garon sat out with a bruised shoulder.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored his NHL-leading 35th goal and Marian Hossa
also scored during a three-goal blitz in the second period that put Atlanta ahead 5-3. Patrik Stefan, Slava Kozlov and Eric Boulton also scored for Atlanta. Kovalchuk and Hossa have combined for 21 goals in nine games, including 12 by Kovalchuk.
Hossa tied it at 6 with his 26th of the season, skating through the right circle and putting a short wrist shot over LaBarbera's left shoulder with 8:38 left. But Giuliano, one of eight Kings who have made their NHL debut this season, got the go-ahead goal on a rebound of Tim Gleason's shot after a turnover in the Atlanta zone.
Robitaille tied Dionne at 4:20 of the first period when he intercepted a clearing pass and then got a return feed from Derek Armstrong before faking goalie Mike Dunham to the ice and slipping the puck past Dunham's stick. His record-setting 551st came on a breakaway as he beat Dunham between the pads with the teams skating four-on-four.
The standing ovation given to Robitaille by the sellout crowd lasted several minutes, while a video montage of his career highlights were shown on the scoreboard.
"It was a great pass over two sticks by Mike Weaver,"
Robitaille said. "I got the puck on a breakaway, I felt the guy falling and I knew I had a good shot. I think the goalie was surprised, and he stayed deep. It was a great feeling because it put us up by a goal at the time. And then the reaction from the crowd and my teammates, it was overwhelming. What a moment."
The Montreal native, who turns 40 next month, scored into an empty net on a power play from the other end of the rink for his 10th goal of the season and 663nd in 1,401 NHL games. Robitaille, who broke in with the Kings and was the NHL rookie of the year, is the league's leading goal-scorer among left wingers.
"That is a remarkable accomplishment," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "He is just so skilled and gifted, and we are all proud of him. Unfortunately, it came against us. But at the same time, it was in front of his fans -- the same fans he has been so loyal to and [who] have been so loyal to Luc."
Dionne, who began his Hall of Fame career with Detroit, was the second overall pick in the 1971 draft. Robitaille was the 171st overall pick in 1984 and the Kings' ninth-round choice -- four rounds and 102 players after they selected current New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine.
Robitaille has 1,145 total points in 1,047 regular-season games during three stints with the Kings, spanning 14 seasons. Dionne played 921 games during his 12 seasons in Los Angeles and amassed a club-record 1,307 points.
"Now Luc's No. 1 in goals scored, where he belongs. He certainly deserves it," said Kings general manager Dave Taylor, who was Dionne's linemate on the team's "Triple Crown Line" of the 1970s.
The only time Robitaille and Dionne were teammates was the 1986-87 season, when Robitaille won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year and became the only rookie to lead the Kings in scoring.
"Marcel took me under his wing," Robitaille said. "I mean, I barely spoke English when I came here. I was making $45 a week before that and I didn't even know how to open a bank account. I didn't know how to get a car or insurance or nothing.
"He asked me what I wanted to do, and I said, 'I just want to play hockey and not worry about anything.' So he told me, 'Why don't you come and live in my house, so you don't have to worry about anything?' What a great break it was for me. It made a big difference the first half of that season," Robitaille said.
Atlanta completed its Western Conference schedule for the season with a 5-4-1 record. ... The Thrashers are 2-7 against the Kings, with both wins coming in overtime. ... Atlanta defenseman Jaroslav Modry, who spent 8½ seasons with the Kings, has 11 points in his last 12 games, including an assist on Kovalchuk's goal.