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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Kings defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has been selected to play for the Western Conference All-Star squad at the 2007 NHL All-Star Game in Dallas on Wednesday, January 24, at 5 p.m. PT, the NHL announced today. Kings rookie center Anze Kopitar will also travel to Dallas to represent the Western Conference in the YoungStars Game, set for Tuesday, January 23, at 4:30 PT. Both events are scheduled to take place at the American Airlines Center.

Visnovsky, 30, will be making his first NHL All-Star Game appearance. The 5-10, 188-pound native of Topolcany, Slovakia, leads all Kings defensemen and ranks fourth overall on the club with 36 points (13-23=36) in 43 games this season. Visnovsky is also tied for first place in the Western Conference and second place in the league among NHL defensemen with 13 goals. In addition, he leads all NHL blue-liners with a 12.1 shooting percentage (13 goals with 107 shots on goal this season).

Said Kings Head Coach Marc Crawford: "He's the type of player that can make the difference on a team. He's obviously very good offensively and his numbers are terrific. We're also thrilled that he's continuing to work on his game in a defensive manner as well. We're pleased with his play and we think he's going to be a great player for us hopefully for a lot of years."

Visnovsky was the first defenseman in Kings history to ever lead his team in scoring with 67 points (17-50=67) in 80 games during the 2005-06 season. For his efforts, he was named the club's Most Valuable Player and Outstanding Defenseman in a vote by the local media. Visnovsky was also named the Kings Outstanding Defenseman following the 2003-04 season.

Originally selected by the Kings in the fourth-round (118th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Visnovsky has 216 points (57-159=216) and 166 penalty minutes in 391 career games with the Kings. His 57 goals put him in fourth place on the club's career list for goals by a defenseman, and he ranks fifth best all-time among club defensemen with 216 career points.

Kopitar, a native of Jesenice, Slovenia, and the first-ever Slovenian to play in the NHL, leads all NHL rookies with 27 assists this season. In addition, his 39 points (12-27=39) in 45 games this season are second only to Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, who has 41 points (20-21=40) this season. Kopitar also ranks second among all first-year players with 128 shots on goal, with a time-on-ice average of 20:31 and a shifts-per-game average of 26.7. The Kings originally selected Kopitar in the first-round (11th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

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