Kings move into first-place tie
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:15 AM
Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
The San Jose Sharks have company atop the Western Conference.
made 25 saves through overtime, then denied Mike Ribeiro
in controversial fashion in the shootout as the Los Angeles Kings
moved into a first-place tie in the West with a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars
before a capacity crowd at the Staples Center on Saturday night.
and Alexander Frolov scored second-period goals for Los Angeles, which has won its last six games that have been decided in shootouts.
Ribeiro was originally credited with a goal in the fourth round that would have extended the shootout, but it was ruled on the ice that Quick actually poke-checked Ribeiro's chance before momentum carried the puck across the goal line.
"They ended up turning it back and we came away with two points, so that's huge," Quick said.
The Kings, who haven't made the playoffs since 2002, are 7-0-1 in their last eight games and 21-10-3 overall in their second season under coach Terry Murray. Last season, they didn't get their 21st victory until Feb. 3.
"I think we know what we're capable of, and we've showed it," Kopitar said. "When we lose, in most cases we basically beat ourselves. We're right behind San Jose, if not on the same level. It's a great feeling."
Mike Modano and James Neal scored for Dallas, and Alex Auld made 25 saves in his ninth start this season, following a five-game stretch in which Marty Turco faced an average of 34.4 shots. Seven of Auld's starts have been on the road, including a 5-4 overtime loss to the Kings on Nov. 22.
"We'll take the point, but it's hard knowing that we could have had more points than we have," Ribeiro said. "L.A.'s been playing pretty well lately. We will take those points, but we knew that we could have more if we played 60 minutes."
Neal opened the scoring with his goal just 82 seconds into the game off a feed from Brad Richards in what was the lone goal of the first period. Los Angeles allowed 11 shots in the opening 20 minutes before settling down defensively as the Stars recorded 11 shots over the final 40.
"We got off to a slow start, but later on in the game I think we found a way to stick to our system and we found a way to win the game," said Frolov, who erased a 1-0 deficit with his eighth goal of the season at 4:12 of the second period. "Quick has been outstanding for us, especially in shootouts."
Modano gave the Stars a 2-1 lead when he took a feed from Jere Lehtinen -- who notched his 500th career point -- and beat Quick from the slot for his fifth goal of the season, but Kopitar tied the game in the final minute of the second when he beat Auld glove side for his 16th goal of the season.
"Quick was very good and he gave us an opportunity to come back," Murray said. "The bottom line is we got our two points."
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.