Thoughts on a 1-0 loss to the Kings

Here are some thoughts and observations after the Dallas Stars lost 1-0 to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night.

*It was a loss, but it was probably the best game of the season for the Stars. When you consider the opponent, the fact they were playing the second night of a back-to-back and that it was a road game, this was a really good effort. You can throw in that it was a pretty revved up, physical game, too. They played well from start to finish. It was a good 60 minute effort. There was no prolonged stretch where they were flat or on their heels. They were probably the better team for a couple of stretches.

Stars coach Glen Gulutzan summed it up quite nicely: “I thought this was our best game all year from start to finish.”

*It came down to a faceoff win by Los Angeles and a point shot from Jack Johnson that looked like it changed direction as it went through traffic and by Andrew Raycroft. That was the game.

*Raycroft played really well. He made some big saves, especially in the second period when the Kings had some quality chances. That’s the kind of game the Stars needed from Raycroft. It’s a shame they couldn’t have picked up the win for him. He deserved it. But that’s hockey.

*The Stars blocked a lot of shots in front of Raycroft in the game. They had 26 blocked shots, including 13 in the first period. Of the 18 skaters in the lineup, 14 of them had at least one blocked shot.

*Give the Kings credit. They are a tough nut to crack. That’s three straight shutouts for Jonathan Quick and it’s not him standing on his head. The Kings are a great defensive team. They don’t give up many quality chances and really keep teams away from those prime scoring areas. The Stars do a pretty good job of that too, and they showed it again Saturday night.