LOS ANGELES – Derek Armstrong and Mike Cammalleri scored power-play goals in the first period Sunday and led the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Playing in just his eighth NHL game, Los Angeles’ Jason LaBarbera made 20 saves to earn his third victory in three starts this season. LaBarbera was just over 11 minutes away from his first shutout when Nikolai Zherdev scored his first goal of the season to make it 3-1.

The 25-year-old goalie was signed by the Kings as a free agent this summer. He has allowed just four goals in three starts while sharing the job with Mathieu Garon.

Last season, LaBarbera had a 1.84 goals-against-average with Hartford in the AHL – second best in the league. He earned one NHL victory in five games with the New York Rangers before joining the Kings.

Los Angeles (4-2) won four times in a five-game homestand that ended Sunday. The Blue Jackets (1-5) ended a four-game road trip with their third straight loss.

The Kings had a two-man advantage eight minutes in when Armstrong’s pass through the crease deflected off the skate of Columbus defenseman Duvie Westcott and into the net.

Cammalleri made it 2-0 by firing a 45-foot slap shot past goalie Marc Denis during another Kings power play with just 1:07 left in the first period.

Alexander Frolov scored just as a second-period power play ended to push the Kings’ lead to three.

Notes: Kings LW Luc Robitaille didn’t play because of a groin injury and Ken Belanger made his season debut in Robitaille’s place. Belanger hadn’t played in an NHL regular-season game since Nov. 5, 2002, when he sustained a concussion at San Jose. He retired from hockey for two years before being offered a tryout and making the Kings this season. … Columbus forward Dan Fritsche left the game with an ankle injury in the first period and didn’t return.

AP-ES-10-16-05 2253EDT


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