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Labarbera leads Kings past Predators in shootout

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Los Angeles' first shootout under the NHL's
new rules was exciting enough. Then the Kings had to sweat out a
review of Jeremy Roenick's goal that decided the outcome.

With fans chanting "Goal! Goal!" the referees decided in the
Kings' favor, giving them a 3-2 victory over the Nashville
Predators on Saturday.

"Everybody that was in this building got treated to an
unbelievable hockey game and had an unbelievable afternoon, with a
shootout to boot," Roenick said. "That's what hockey's all about.
Whoever saw their first game today is going to be addicted."

Coach Andy Murray moved Roenick up a spot in choosing his
skaters for the shootout because he liked the way Roenick energized
the Kings in the second period by checking Danny Markov face-first
into the boards.

"I thought he had his best game of the year and I wanted him to
score," Murray said.

Roenick skated in hard on Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun, with
his momentum sending him onto the ice and into Vokoun, who also
fell over.

"I came down and went to my backhand, and then when I tried to
bring it back to my forehand, I kind of lost an edge and tried to
stuff it in," Roenick said. "As I did, his pad and the puck went
in at the same time. I knew I was going down, but I still had
enough to push it by him."

A video review helped referees decide that Roenick hadn't put in
his own rebound.

"The question was whether Jeremy had played it a second time, a
rebound," referee Dennis LaRue said. "I didn't see that on the
ice, and it was apparently confirmed on the replay upstairs."

Jason LaBarbera stopped Nashville's Simon Gamache and Marek
Zidlicky in the shootout, and made a stick save on David Legwand in
the five-minute overtime. He stopped 20 shots for his eighth
victory of the season.

Naturally, LaBarbera isn't a big fan of shootouts.

"But you could tell by the people in the stands how excited
they were to watch it," he said.

The Kings extended their unbeaten streak against the Predators
to seven games dating to December 2002. They've outscored Nashville
19-5 in that stretch.

Vokoun took a shutout into the third period, but the Kings
spoiled it with two goals. He made 35 saves and was convinced he
stopped Roenick's shot.

"I wasn't sure if he carried me with the puck into the net when
he went into me," Vokoun said. "Everybody I talked to said he hit
it twice, so I don't understand why it's a goal. We should have won
that game in regulation. Then the shootout wouldn't have been
necessary."

Nashville's Paul Kariya, a former Anaheim star, had one shot in
the rare day game.

Asked about shootouts, he said, "Look at the fans. I mean,
we're in the business of entertaining people. All the people in the
building were standing. I don't think there was anyone sitting
down, and that's what the league wants."

Tom Kostopoulos tied it at 2 with 4:28 left in the third. Nathan
Dempsey's shot ricocheted off the boards and Kostopoulos scored on
the rebound. The Kings outshot the Predators 21-2 in the period.

The Kings' first goal came when Pavol Demitra dug the puck out
of the boards and flipped it back to a rushing Craig Conroy, who
scored his fifth of the season.

Jeremy Stevenson scored Nashville's first goal at Staples Center
since Dec. 5, 2002, when the puck slipped in between the post and
LaBarbera's skate 1½ minutes into the game. The Predators had been
shut out in their two previous visits to Los Angeles.

Martin Erat extended Nashville's lead to 2-0 at 8:30 of the
first with his fourth goal in his last six games.

The Kings failed to score when they twice had two-man advantages
in the first and second periods.

Game notes
Kings C Sean Avery was ejected late in the first for
checking Gamache from behind. ... The Predators have not scored a
power-play goal in their last three games. ... Los Angeles is 7-3-0
at home this season. ... The Predators went 0-3 on their West Coast
swing.