LaBarbera, who has spent most of the season as Mathieu Garon's
backup after winning his first seven starts, made 39 saves in
regulation. The rookie then stopped Matthew Lombardi, Tony Amonte
and Jarome Iginla in the shootout after Demitra beat Kiprusoff with
a short backhander.
"It was a lot of fun," Robitaille said. "I do wish I would
have scored on that shot, but it was a very special night. It was
amazing how nervous I was at the beginning. I don't think I ever
felt that way, but I knew down deep it was my last game here. I had
a bunch of scoring chances and I enjoyed it. I'm real happy we won.
What a way to go out."
Robitaille has spent 14 of his 19 NHL seasons with the Kings and
has provided them with countless highlights -- particularly in
1992-93, when he scored a career-high 63 goals and the team made
its only trip to the Stanley Cup finals. The team's owner back then
was Bruce McNall, who couldn't stay away from Robitaille's home
"It's certainly right near the top, and it was a wonderful
thing to see tonight -- the way the fans cheered for Luc," McNall
said. "I mean, Luc is as important to this team as any other
person ever was. Luc and I started together, in a way. I bought the
team the year he was a rookie, and it's 20 years ago now. Luc
deserves every bit of this. He's been a great ambassador to the
sport and a great player for the Kings -- the one constant they've
had all these years."
Robitaille addressed the sellout crowd of 18,118 on the public
address system when it was over.
"This is L.A., and people usually leave early, but everybody
was still there," Robitaille said. "I can't believe they stayed
all the way to the end like that, with the traffic in L.A. It was
the first time I've seen that, and it was very overwhelming."
The Kings' 41st victory gave them more wins than any season
since 1990-91, when they were 46-24-10 under Tom Webster. Six of
the wins were the result of shootouts. They finished their home
schedule 26-14-1, tying a club record for home victories.
"Definitely you could tell tonight the guys wanted to win,"
Robitaille said. "That's probably the best game we've played in
the last three weeks. We all gave it a little extra, and I'm
thankful for that."
Kiprusoff, coming off consecutive shutouts against Anaheim and
Colorado, stopped the first 17 shots he faced before Demitra got a
pass from Jeremy Roenick and scored on a short wrist shot that
broke off Kiprusoff's pads and trickled across the goal line with
18:41 left in the third period. It was the 24th goal for Demitra,
who has missed 25 games this season because of various injuries.
Kiprusoff slipped to 1-7 in shootouts, and has stopped only 11
of 22 shots during the NHL's new format for deciding tie games.
"It hasn't been the strongest part of my game this year,"
Kiprusoff said. "I have to work on them to be better next year."
LaBarbera stopped the first 32 shots he faced before Lombardi
backhanded the puck toward the slot from the right boards and Jamie
Lundmark one-timed it past LaBarbera's glove with a 9:06 left in
the third period.
The Flames, who wrapped up their first division title since
1994-95 with Thursday's 2-0 win over Colorado, have allowed more
than three goals only once in their last 32 games -- when backup
goalie Brian Boucher went the distance in a 9-4 loss at Nashville
on March 18. Kiprusoff, who has started the last 15 games, has
allowed no more than three goals in any of his last 36 starts since
a 4-3 overtime loss at Vancouver on Jan. 7.
Robitaille wore the captain's "C" during the game, and
will again Monday night at San Jose in his final NHL game. ... The
Kings, eliminated from playoff contention with Thursday's 3-0 loss
at Phoenix, are 4-7-0 under interim coach John Torchetti. ...
Robitaille changed jerseys during both intermissions and changed
sticks throughout the game so that family members and longtime
friends could have them as mementos. "I brought about 30 sticks,"
Robitaille said. "I told Torch he's going to have to play me a lot
so I don't have to change sticks on the fly." ... Calgary center
Byron Ritchie had a breakaway with about 4½ minutes left in the
second period, but LaBarbera stood his ground and Ritchie never got
a shot off. ... Robitaille had 55 goals and 56 assists in 96 career
games against the Flames. ... Kings C Craig Conroy sat out the
final two periods because of a knee injury. ... Calgary defenseman
Rhett Warriner limped to the dressing room with less than 2 minutes
left in the second period and did not return.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: STAPLES Center Location: Los Angeles, California
Referees: Paul Devorski, Marc Joannette Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Ryan Galloway
Attendance: 18,118 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
No scoring this period
Pavol Demitra (24)
Assists: Jeremy Roenick, Mike Weaver
Jamie Lundmark (10)
Assists: Matthew Lombardi, Andrew Ference
No scoring this period
Matthew Lombardi shootout attempt against Jason LaBarbera with a Wristshot results in a SAVE!
Pavol Demitra shootout attempt against Miikka Kiprusoff with a Backhand results in a GOAL!
Tony Amonte shootout attempt against Jason LaBarbera with a Wristshot results in a SAVE!
Luc Robitaille shootout attempt against Miikka Kiprusoff with a Wristshot results in a SAVE!
Jarome Iginla shootout attempt against Jason LaBarbera with a Wristshot results in a SAVE!