Dallas Stars 2, Kings 1
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: The Stars scored both their goals on second-period power plays Monday night and goalkeeper Kari Lehtonen turned away a penalty shot by the Kings in the game’s final minute to preserve a 2-1 victory at American Airlines Center.
THE STAT: The Kings had won 11 of the last 14 games against Dallas, including the last four at American Airlines Center.
TURNING POINT: With the Kings leading, 1-0, defenseman Matt Greene was called for roughing on Tom Wandell with 8 minutes 36 seconds remaining in the second period. The Stars cashed in on the power play 14 seconds later, when Loui Eriksson redirected a pass from Brad Richards into the net. That seemed to take the air out of the Kings, who allowed the winning goal five minutes later on Dallas’s fifth power play of the game.
HOT: The temper of Kings coach Terry Murray after the penalty that led to the second goal by the Stars. Brad Richardson was called for delay of game for knocking the puck over the glass, but it was pretty clear from Murray's reaction that he didn't believe it was deliberate.
NOT: Michal Handzus, bumped down to the fourth line due to ineffective play, did not have a shot on goal in nearly 15 minutes of ice team. In the two games since his demotion, Handzus had more penalty minutes (two) than shots on goal (one).
GOOD MOVE: Justin Williams scored his 17th goal of the season in the first period to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. Williams didn’t do anything fancy, just something the Kings need to try more often...shooting the puck at the net. Williams took the shot from a bad angle and it deflected off a Dallas player and into the net. The Kings finished with 23 shots on goal, the third straight game they’ve had 25 or less.
BAD MOVE: Murray chose defenseman Jack Johnson to take the penalty shot after one of the Stars was whistled for grabbing the puck with his gloved hand while it sat on the goal line with 52.4 seconds remaining. The shot had to be taken by a player who was on the ice when the penalty occurred. The Kings had pulled their goalie and had a 6-on-5 at the time, so there must have been a better option than a defenseman who’s best known for his slap shot.
NOTABLE: The Kings came into the game 8-1-0 against the division leaders this season. Dallas has been atop the Pacific Division since late November.
UP NEXT: at St. Louis, Tuesday, 5 p.m. PT