Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Dallas Stars 5, Los Angeles Kings 1
Stars put everything together for dominant home win.
DALLAS The Dallas Stars won their third straight in decisive fashion Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center, defeating the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings 5-1. The win improved Dallas to 19-17-3 at 41 points, just two points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Kings fell to 22-14-4.
The Kings opened the scoring just 73 seconds in after Loui Eriksson got hit with a double-minor for high sticking in the game's opening minute. Anze Kopitar sent a pass right through the middle of the Stars' penalty kill box to an open Drew Doughty, who rifled it in for his third goal in as many games and an early 1-0 lead.
Dallas struck back exactly ten minutes later just seconds after their first powerplay expired, however, when Alex Goligoski collected a rebound of an Aaron Rome shot and blasted it through a screen for his second goal of the season and a 1-1 game.
Later in the period Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen, who singlehandedly stole a game against the Kings earlier in the season, left with an apparent lower body injury and did not return. He was replaced by Richard Bachman, who has struggled tremendously this season.
Neither team scored in the middle frame, despite Dallas getting hit with three straight high-sticking penalties. The Stars' penalty kill stood fast, however, giving them a chance to win it in the final 20 minutes.
In the third period the floodgates opened for Dallas, who scored four goals before LA even mounted four shots on net. The first came at 0:52 when Ray Whitney took a pass from rookie Alex Chiasson and wristed it in for his 8th of the season and a 2-1 lead. Seven minutes later, when the Kings turned it over in their own zone. Stephane Robidas took a slapshot that deflected in off Vernon Fiddler for Fiddler's second of the season and a 3-1 lead.
The Stars didn't let up at that point, however, and kept pressing the attack despite their two-goal lead. At 11:06 they made it 4-1 when Cody Eakin stole the puck in the offensive zone and passed it to Eriksson. Eriksson kicked it back to a streaking Whitney who scored his second of the night and 9th of the year.
Dallas rounded out the scoring three minutes later when Fiddler scored his second of the night on a sharp-angle shot to make it 5-1.
Lehtonen did not return to the game, having made seven saves on eight shots, and his status was not known at game time. Bachman was excellent in relief, stopping all 22 shots he faced to improve to 4-3-0. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick was less than stellar, making just 26 saves on 31 shots in the loss.
Dallas' next game is Friday night in Nashville, where they will face the reeling 15-18-8 Predators.