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Kings Skate Past Penguins


Two-goal deficits don't mean much to the Los Angeles Kings lately. When they come back, it's with a barrage of goals.

Luc Robitaille and Glen Murray snapped a tie with goals 11 seconds apart in the third period as the Kings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 Thursday night.

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  • "This is a huge game, battling back like we did," Murray said.

    Pittsburgh led 2-0 before the Kings scored four consecutive goals in front of new Penguins owner Mario Lemieux, who watched from a luxury box at Staples Center.

    Two nights ago, the Kings rallied for a 5-2 victory over Washington with five consecutive goals. They closed their first homestand in the new arena with three straight victories.

    "It was nice because we energized some hockey fans," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "It shows us we've got to keep working and you're never out of it."

    Sean O'Donnell tied the game 2-2 at 7:21 of the third period with a shot from the left point that beat Penguins backup goaltender Peter Skudra glove side. Skudra replaced Jean-Sebastien Aubin with 26 seconds left in the first period after Aubin injured his left hamstring making a save.

    Just before O'Donnell's goal, Aleksey Morozov nearly gave Pittsburgh another two-goal lead when he caught Stephane Fiset out of position, but the puck slid wide. Morozov got hurt on the play.

    "That one play was clearly the turning point," Penguins coach Kevin Constantine said. "It was an emotional ift for their team and they carried that to a couple more goals."

    Robitaille put the Kings ahead 3-2 with a goal he tipped in off a shot by Ziggy Palffy from the right point at 9:44.

    Eleven seconds later, Skudra used his pad to slow a shot by Murray, but the puck went through his legs to give Los Angeles a 4-2 lead.

    "We were playing all right, but they got a couple of breaks and they capitalized on them at timely situations," Penguins center Kip Miller said.

    With Pittsburgh's Rob Brown and Rob Blake of the Kings off for roughing, German Titov put the Penguins within a goal with 14 seconds left. But the Kings took advantage of Pittsburgh's empty net when Bryan Smolinski scored with 2 seconds left for a 5-3 lead.

    Stephane Fiset stopped 24 shots for his sixth victory. Aubin stopped all 17 shots he faced, while Skudra made 13 saves.

    Jaromir Jagr, who had two assists, didn't waste time scoring his eighth goal of the season on the game's first shot. He fought off defenseman Aki Berg and sent the puck through Fiset's legs 42 seconds into the game.

    "He overpowered Aki," Andy Murray said. "He has to make a better play on it. We need him to step up."

    John Slaney beat Fiset stick side on a power-play goal at 3:09 of the second for Pittsburgh's second goal. Brown's assist gave him 323 career points, moving him ahead of Randy Carlyle into 14th place among Pittsburgh players.

    Donald Audette got the Kings going with a goal at 11:26 of the second period. Skudra stopped his one-timer, but right wing Ian Moran's attempt to clear the puck sent it back to Audette for the goal.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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