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Red-hot Cammalleri scores in third period as Kings beat Canucks 4-2

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VANCOUVER - The Los Angeles Kings' dressing room has had a revolving door for goaltenders, but Jason LaBarbera planted his foot solidly in the entrance Friday night.

LaBarbera, one of eight puck stoppers to audition for the No. 1 job during the last two seasons, made 26 saves to lead the Kings to a 4-2 NHL victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

"I know it's definitely there for sure," said LaBarbera, who played his minor hockey in suburban Langley, B.C., and was voted the best goalie in the American Hockey League last season, of his chances to stake his claim.

"I'm definitely capable of doing it. It's just a matter of doing it, so hopefully I can build off this."

LaBarbera, who had seven shutouts and 39 wins for the Manchester Monarchs last season, made a key first-period save on a two-man break-in finished by Alex Burrows that would have given Vancouver a 2-0 lead.

"I was playing pass the whole way, I just loaded my right leg and just waited for the pass," said LaBarbera, who had to fork out 17 tickets for family and friends.

And he protected a one-goal advantage late in the third period when his club was outshot 13-2 by robbing Taylor Pyatt with his glove.

"They made a good quick transition and were on us right away," said the six-foot-three, 230-pound bearded netminder. "He let it rip. I was a little bit worried because my glove was wet and it kind of slipped on me."

Matt Cooke opened the scoring for Vancouver but Mike Cammalleri gave the Kings their first lead with a power-play goal in the second period as Los Angeles counted three times in seven minutes. Cammalleri had three whacks at the puck before it went over goalie Roberto Luongo.

Jack Johnson began the comeback with his first NHL goal and Alexander Frolov staked LaBarbera to a 3-1 lead entering the third period.

Mattias Ohlund was the only Canuck to beat LaBarbera when Vancouver outshot the Kings 13-2 in the final period. Dustin Brown was credited with an unassisted empty-net goal when he was pulled down near the Vancouver crease with 22 seconds remaining.

"I'm not shocked at all," Cammalleri, who continued his torrid start to the season with his eighth goal in nine games, said of LaBarbera's effort. "This guy can play. He needs to keep doing that because we know how good he is. He'll instil the confidence in us that we need to win games."

Coach Marc Crawford agreed.

"He's got himself in position now," Crawford said. "Goalies have to make saves that they should and every once in a while make a few that they shouldn't and he was good tonight."

The win ended a string of eight losses on the road dating back to last season for the Kings who improved to 3-6-0. The sagging Canucks, who have lost four of five at home, dropped to 3-4-0.

" It was big for us," Cammalleri, who notched his third power-play goal in four games, said of the Kings' outburst in the second period despite playing their third game in four nights.

"You know what was so nice about that was in the first period they got a lot of power plays and we didn't get many scoring chances but we came in (to the dressing room) and regrouped."

Canuck forward Ryan Kesler said poor defensive zone play and untimely penalties hurt Vancouver in the second period.

"We had a pretty good first period but in the second I think we took it for granted and had some breakdowns, and they capitalized on the chances they got," he said.

Losing at home hurts, too.

"Teams in this league have pride about playing at home and I think right now we're struggling with that," Kesler said.

NOTES: Lukas Krajicek returned to the Vancouver blue-line after missing one game with a foot injury ... Canuck defenceman Aaron Miller played 309 games for the Kings from 2000-01 to 2006-07 ... Sami Salo has resumed practising with the team after the rearguard fractured his wrist in a Sept. 16 Canuck intra-squad game ... Vancouver goes on the road for four games starting Sunday in Columbus.

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