via The Sports Xchange
DALLAS — One of the NHL’s best overtime teams clashed with one of the worst on Friday night at American Airlines Center and the Dallas Stars came away with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in overtime.
The Stars were 1-7 in overtime games before Esa Lindell scored on a two-on-one with Jamie Benn 1:07 into overtime.
“Saw they were changing one guy and saw the opportunity get 2-on-1,” Lindell said. “That was pretty easy to put in from that pass.”
Benn, who has one overtime goal this season, originally planned on shooting the puck on the rush.
“I was thinking shoot almost the whole way down the ice,” Benn said. “It was kind of hard not to pass it to him there. He worked so hard to get up the ice and he made a good play in the D zone. You know, he was wide open, so, I kind of had to make the pass.”
Benn said it was important for the Stars to pick up a win before the three-day Christmas break.
“You always want to win the last game going into any break,” Benn said. “And that was a tough game tonight. That’s a really good team over there and we stuck it out right to the end. And Esa found a way to put that one home.”
The Kings are now 7-4 in overtime this season.
“Yeah, I like points,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. “Well, we start the game trying with trying to get two, usually, and we tried to do that tonight.”
Jeff Carter gave the Kings a 1-0 lead when he scored his 18th goal of the season at 3:05 of the first period on the power play. Tanner Pearson had an assist after Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen couldn’t hold onto to the initial shot and the puck trickled over to Carter at the top of the crease.
Dallas almost had an instant response, but Benn’s wrist shot a minute later ripped off the post after it beat Kings goaltender Jeff Zatkoff on the stick side.
Dallas tied the score at 1 just 43 seconds into the second period.
Tyler Seguin scored his 11th goal of the season on a one-timer off a rush. John Klingberg and Jason Spezza had assists as the Stars picked apart the Kings’ defense on a three-on-two.
Both teams had chances to take the lead later in the second period.
Seguin hit the post on a rush with another one-timer, and the Kings nearly scored on a rebound before Lehtonen stopped Alec Martinez with his left pad. Lehtonen later made a right pad save on Pearson on a partial breakaway with 3:12 remaining in the middle period.
Radek Faksa gave Dallas a 2-1 lead 3:30 into the third period on a rebound. Faksa was stopped by Zatkoff on the initial shot, but quickly gathered the rebound and scored his fifth goal of the season.
Carter scored his second goal of the game on a rebound to tie it at 2 at 10:51 of the third period. Devin Setoguchi had the assist after Lehtonen made an initial save with his left pad.
Carter now has eight goals in his past eight games and five goals during a three-game goal streak.
Zatkoff made 28 saves for the Kings. Lehtonen stopped 29 shots.
“I thought (Lehtonen) played well. He made some good saves,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “It was in spurts at times, but we had a couple big breakdowns. They had a couple rush chances in the second period, but he made some good saves for us.”