LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings might have lost more than the game on Thursday night. Sepcifically, alternate captain Anze Kopitar.
Loui Eriksson scored twice in regulation and scored the only goal in a shootout as the Dallas Stars defeated the Kings, 5-4, on Thursday night, but Kopitar's injury may mean more lasting damage.
Kopitar left the game when he was sent crashing into the end boards by Brenden Morrow at 12:12 of the third period. He suffered an upper-body injury, according to the Kings, and his status was not immediately clear.
Dallas forced a tie at 4 with 5:25 to go in regulation when Eriksson's pass went off Willie Mitchell's stick and into the net, a goal that ended L.A.'s penalty-killing streak at 40 straight dating to Dec.17.
Dallas got a four-minute power play following the dangerous-looking Morrow hit in which Kopitar stayed prone on the ice for about a minute before he was helped to the trainer's room.
Mike Richards went after Morrow and received instigator, fighting, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and a 10-minute game misconduct that gave Dallas a four-minute power play. Morrow received a fighting major.
The Kings appeared to be in the driver's seat when they erased a 3-2 deficit with power-play goals by Jack Johnson and Dustin Brown in the third. Those, along with Kopitar's man-advantage goal in the second, marked the first time this season L.A. has scored three power play goals.
Prior to that, the game seemed to turn toward the Stars' favor in the middle of the second period.
Alex Goligoski one-timed Michael Ryder's drop pass past Jonathan Quick (34 saves) for a 3-1 lead while the Kings were still livid for a perceived non-call on Ryder's trip of Drew Doughty in their end.
But L.A. pulled to 3-2 when fourth line winger Trevor Lewis slipped behind the Stars defense and deked past the outstretched Lehtonen on a breakaway for his first goal this season.
Kopitar tipped in Johnson's point shot to pull L.A. to 2-1 early in the second. It was the first time Dallas had surrendered a power play goal in seven games.
Dallas outworked Los Angeles for two goals in 51 seconds in the first period.
Eric Nystrom put in his own rebound at 14:04 after Radek Dvorak chased it down on the right side to set him up.
Eriksson grabbed Tom Wandell's rebound and scored on a quick snap shot through Slava Voynov at 14:55. Brenden Morrow started the rush when he got the puck from Dustin Penner near the wall.