Stars Beat Kings

By Dennis Bernstein, The Sports Xchange

LOS ANGELES — The Dallas Stars capitalized on an uncharacteristically poor defensive effort by the Los Angeles Kings to earn a rare road victory.
Patrick Sharp recorded a goal and two assists and Radek Faksa registered three assists as the Dallas Stars defeated the Los Angeles Kings 6-4 on Monday.
Dallas (17-16-8) received a goal and an assist each from Tyler Seguin, Devin Shore and Jiri Hudler to win the rubber game of the three-game season series. Antti Niemi saved only one Kings shot in 14:42 to win in relief of goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
Los Angeles (20-17-4) lost for the second time in the last three home games. Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty each tallied a goal and an assist. Peter Budaj stopped 17 of 22 shots and was replaced by Jeff Zatkoff at 7:31 of the final period.
“You don’t expect to score six against a team like Los Angeles,” Sharp said. “Brett Ritchie scoring that first goal settled us down a little bit.”
Dallas coach Lindy Ruff admitted his team had good fortune in earning its sixth road win in 20 games.
“We haven’t had some of the puck luck that we had tonight, Ruff said. “Nobody would have anticipated 10 goals between these two teams.”
Los Angeles entered the game with the third stingiest defense in the Western Conference but sloppy play and a subpar performance by Budaj was responsible for the loss.
“It’s probably a little bit on the defense and a little bit on the goaltending,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
Kopitar agreed with his coach about the loss that failed to build on a 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota on Saturday.
“Our mistakes — it’s just not very characteristic of us,” Kopitar said. “We need to clean that up.”
Dallas took a 1-0 lead on Richie’s eighth goal of the season at 19:03 of the first period. Lauri Kopikoski shoveled a quick pass to Ritchie after a Los Angeles turnover for a short wrist shot that beat a surprised Budaj.
The Stars extended their lead to 2-0 on Seguin’s 15th goal of the season, at 9:04 of the second period. Dallas took advantage of a turnover by Los Angeles’ fourth line to launch a shot that was batted in the air and off Budaj for the score. Jason Spezza and Hudler earned assists.
Los Angeles narrowed the lead to 2-1 on Nick Shore’s short-handed goal, his fourth score of the season, at 15:05 of the second period. Shore finished a rush down the right wing with a short-side wrist shot that beat Lehtonen.
Dallas regained its two-goal lead at 3-1 on Jamie Oleksiak’s fifth goal of the season, at 15:43. Fasek won a faceoff in the offensive zone and Sharp fed Oleksiak for a point shot that appeared to deflect off Kings defenseman Derek Forbort and into the net.
Los Angeles closed to within 3-2 on a power play by Dustin Brown, his fifth of the season at 2:16 of the third period. Brown took a feed from Nic Dowd and fired a wrist shot past Lehtonen with Alec Martinez registering the secondary assist.
After Shore gave the Stars a 4-2 lead at 2:59 of the third period, the Kings rallied to tie the game at 4 with two goals in 58 seconds. Kopitar’s fifth goal of the season, at 4:20, pulled the Kings to within 4-3, and Doughty’s power play goal at 5:18 earned the Kings capped Los Angeles’ comeback.
Dallas regained the lead at 5-4 on Hudler’s first goal of the season, at 7:44 of the final period. After Budaj turned the puck over behind his own net, Seguin pushed the puck toward the crease for a tap-in by Hudler.
Sharp added an empty-net goal to close out the scoring.