The Dallas Stars’ eight game points streak came to an end Sunday afternoon with a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at American Airlines Center. The Stars tied the game with 42.1 seconds left on a Jamie Langenbrunner goal, but Los Angeles' Michal Handzus scored the game-winner with 20.8 seconds remaining. With the victory the Kings moved one point ahead of the Stars in the Western Conference standings. Brad Richards and Jamie Langenbrunner scored for the Stars, who overcame a 2-0 deficit in the game. Kari Lehtonen had 22 saves.
“That was very much a playoff game. These types of games are exactly what our team needs. It’s showing us that we can play in these hard, physical playoff style games. There’s lots of good things that came with tonight’s game. As we said to our players, we just have to focus in on making these subtle improvements that we can. That’s what we’ll choose to focus on. The one thing that happens in the playoffs is when you have a tough loss, you can’t dwell on it. You just have to move forward and get past it. It sucks, there’s no doubt about it. There’s no sense dwelling on it, that does nobody any good. We’ll regroup and get ourselves focused forward.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford
“We’ll probably look at some positives from the game, but it’s five minutes after a loss and I don’t think we want anyone in here to accept those easily. We’re all a little [ticked] off right now, as we should be. We’ve done it for the past month now, our best hockey is when we are down. It’s living on the edge. We don’t want to do that every game. We’re confident we can come back in games.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow
*Sunday’s regulation loss was the Stars’ first since February 22 (1-0 vs. New Jersey).
*The Stars were 0-3 on the power play and are 1-15 on the PP over the last five games.
*Jamie Benn’s six-game goal scoring streak ended but he picked up an assist to extend his points streak to seven games (6 goals, 2 assists).
*Brad Richards’ goal was his 25th of the season and his first since February 13.
*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen has played in ten straight games and 20 of the last 21.
The Kings got an early power play and cashed in to take a 1-0 lead when Drew Doughty scored off a shot from the right point at the 3:04 mark.
The Stars had two power play chances in the period, but couldn’t take advantage.
The Kings had a 9-5 shots advantage in the period.
Stars forward Adam Burish was out for Sunday’s game with a lower body injury. Brian Sutherby and Mark Fistric were scratches for Dallas.
The Stars played dominated most of the second period, holding an 11-3 shots advantage through the first 14 minutes, but the Kings counterpunched to take a 2-0 lead with 5:59 left in the second.
After Los Angeles won a defensive zone draw, the Kings scored off the rush when Anze Kopitar set up a wide open Dustin Penner, who scored from point blank range.
The Stars cut the lead to 2-1 with 2:00 left in the period when Loui Eriksson sent a pass from pass from the defensive zone to spring Brad Richards on a breakaway, and Richards beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
The Stars ended up outshooting the Kings 12-9 in the period.
The Stars’ penalty kill came up big early in the third, thwarting two Los Angeles power plays in the first five minutes of the period to keep it a 2-1 game.
The Stars got the equalizer late in the game with Kari Lehtonen pulled for the extra attacker. Jamie Langenbrunner punched home a rebound with 42.1 seconds left to make it a 2-2 game.
But the Kings struck back with 20.8 seconds when Michal Handzus scored off a scramble in front of the net to give the Kings a 3-2 lead and eventually the victory.
Scratched: Sutherby, Fistric
Injured: Burish (lower body)
Power play units
Penalty kill units