Friday, March 22, 2013
Dallas Stars 2, Los Angeles Kings 0
Kari Lehtonen gets his first shutout of the season in huge road win.
The Dallas Stars playoff hopes were kept alive by one man Thursday night in Los Angeles, as they defeated the Stanley Cup champion Kings 2-0. It was only the third regulation loss at home for the Kings, who also lost to Dallas here two weeks ago. The win improved Dallas to 14-13-3, just one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. LA fell to 17-11-2.
Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen was almost solely responsible for the win, stopping all 40 shots he faced, including 18 in the second period alone. Lehtonen kept the Stars in the game in the first two periods especially, when the Kings mounted an impressive 21 scoring chances but could not score. It was his first shutout of the season and improved his record to 11-7-2.
After getting outshot 30-15 after two periods, Dallas finally woke up in the third. Six minutes into the period Jamie Benn blocked a shot, won a puck battle along the boards and skated it up ice before passing it to Jaromir Jagr. Jagr skated in patiently before backhanding a shot that deflected off a Kings defenseman and in for his team-leading 12th goal of the season and a crowd-deflating 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later at the 10:56 mark Cody Eakin took a huge hit to get a pass off while clearing the zone. Loui Eriksson took the pass into the Kings zone, dished it off to a wide-open Alex Goligoski, who lasered a pass to Ray Whitney waiting at a sharp angle. Whitney one-timed it for his fifth goal of the season and the 2-0 final score.
Quick was good in short spurts but had little chance on either goal allowed, and finished with 19 saves on 21 shots in falling to 10-9-2.
Dallas' next game is Saturday night in Dallas, as the Stars start a five-game homestand against the 11-14-4 Colorado Avalanche.