Five in a Row: Stars Overcome Early Deficit to Beat Kings 2-1

It didn’t start pretty, but in the end the Stars left Los Angeles with two points under their belt.

The Dallas Stars extended their win streak to five games tonight by taking care of business against the Los Angeles Kings. As with every other game during that streak, the Stars overcame an early deficit to pull out the win, beating Los Angeles 2-1 in regulation.

After getting scored on by Anze Kopitar just two minutes into the game, the Stars retook the lead thanks to a pair of goals by Jamie Benn and Blake Comeau just 37 seconds apart in the second period. That turned out to be enough, as both Anton Khudobin and Jonathan Quick delivered solid performances and kept the puck out of the net for the rest of the game.

There are some negatives to takeaway from the game — the Stars once again started slowly in the first period — but at the end of the day, a win is a win. That should give the Stars some nice momentum heading into tomorrow’s matchup against the Anaheim Ducks.

First Period

The Stars didn’t exactly start things off on the right foot. Just two minutes in, Khudobin was left out to dry when Tyler Toffoli made a nice cross-ice pass to a wide-open Kopitar, who easily found the twine to put the Kings up 1-0.

Los Angeles would soon get the chance to extend their lead when Mattias Janmark went to the penalty box for tripping Trevor Lewis, but the Stars would kill off the penalty without much issue. They would, however, get a flurry of chances right in front of the net with roughly three minutes left in the period. Thankfully Khudobin did his usual elf-magic and kept the puck out of the net.

With less than two minutes to go, Austin Wagner went to the box for a tripping call of his own against Roope Hintz. The Stars failed to make anything out of it before the buzzer sounded, and would finish the first period down by one.

Score: Dallas 0, Los Angeles 1
Shots: Dallas 6, Los Angeles 7

Second Period

I’m not sure what was said in the locker room during the first intermission, but whatever it was worked. The Stars looked like a new team coming out of the gate, including a Joe Pavelski opportunity seconds into the period that somehow didn’t result in a goal:

The Stars persisted, however, continuing to pepper Quick with shot after shot. Then, about 13 minutes into the period, Drew Doughty headed to the box after slashing Jamie Benn. The certified Kingslayer would then make Doughty pay, scoring his 16th career goal against Los Angeles:

Perhaps that fake slapshot by Tyler Seguin spooked Quick a bit, because not even a minute later, Blake Comeau wound up one of his own. Only this was no fake — it was a spaceship:

Just like that, the Stars were up by one. Dallas kept up the pressure for the next few minutes before the buzzer sounded, and this time they’d head to the locker room with a lead.

Score: Dallas 2, Los Angeles 1
Shots: Dallas 25, Los Angeles 16

Third Period

The final frame started with some rather bland back and forth play, followed by a bizarre sequence of events — Jamie Oleksiak and Anze Kopitar were bumping up against each other in front of the Dallas net, resulting in Kopitar falling to the ground. Then a shot by the Kings deflected off of a skate and hit Oleksiak in the helmet. Khudobin still reacted to the shot, and ended up falling over forwards on top of Kopitar, seemingly landing on top of the center’s head. Thankfully everyone seemed to be fine, although Kopitar took his time before getting up.

A few minutes later, Joel Kiviranta had a potential breakaway opportunity that was unfortunately broken up by Wagner. The Kings soon proceeded to go onto the power play thanks to a holding call against Roman Polak, but the Stars’ penalty kill stood strong without their fearless leader, refusing to let up even a single shot on goal.

Mattias Janmark actually did get a breakaway, but Quick shrugged it off to keep the Kings in it. Los Angeles would get several opportunities to tie the game up, including about a minute with the extra attacker at the end, but fell short, giving Dallas the victory.

Final Score: Dallas 2, Los Angeles 1
Final Shots: Dallas 32, Los Angeles 31