DALLAS – Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky scored three goals for his first career hat trick, and rookie Jason LaBarbera made 29 saves to lead the Los Angeles Kings past the Dallas Stars 6-3 Wednesday night.

Sean Avery, Jeff Cowan and Pavol Demitra also scored for the Kings, 6-2 in their last eight games. Visnovsky leads NHL defensemen with 18 points on six goals and 12 assists.

LaBarbera improved his record to 7-1-0, beating Dallas for the second time this season.

The Pacific Division rivals were meeting for the third time this season, all in Dallas. The Kings have won the last two while outscoring the Stars 13-5.

Jussi Jokinen, Mike Modano and Martin Skoula scored for Dallas, 3-4-1 at home.

Stars coach Dave Tippett went with backup goalie Johan Hedberg over Marty Turco, who has been struggling with a 3.64 goals-against average and .872 save percentage. Turco allowed eight goals on 27 shots in two games against the Kings this season for a 7.05 GAA.

Hedberg also had problems with the speedy Kings, stopping only 20 of 26 shots.

Jokinen got Dallas off to a fast start, scoring his fifth goal on a breakaway at 3:51 of the first period.

The Kings drew even when Avery scored from the slot, beating an out-of-position Hedberg at 6:21.

Cowan’s deflection at 16:33 put the Kings in front for good, 2-1.

Los Angeles capitalized on a two-man advantage at 8:17 of the second period when Visnovsky stretched the lead to 3-1.

The Kings made it 4-1 at 9:52 of the second on Visnovsky’s second goal, but Modano got Dallas within two at 19:28.

Visnovsky completed his hat trick at 5:50 of the third period on a power play, and Demitra added his eighth at 7:14 to extend the Kings’ advantage to 6-2.

Skoula’s power-play goal at 15:17 pulled Dallas to 6-3.

Notes: The Stars were playing their 500th home game (including playoffs) since moving to Dallas in 1993. … Stars RW Bill Guerin was out due to back spasms. … The Kings were without LW Luc Robitaille (leg fracture). … Dallas had three power plays in the first seven minutes, including almost two minutes of a 5-on-3, but couldn’t get a shot on goal.

AP-ES-11-02-05 2311EST


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