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Dallas
Stars
Los Angeles
Kings

26 SOG
30 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
DAL
LAK
game recap

Stars 4, Kings 1

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:13 AM

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -The Dallas Stars' power play had its most productive night of the season, scoring four times against a team that allowed only one goal during 20 penalty kills in the previous five meetings.

Brad Richards scored two goals less than 5 minutes apart in the second period, Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott also connected on the power play, and the Stars avoided a six-game sweep by the Los Angeles Kings with a 4-1 victory on Saturday night.

"I didn't know what our record was against them. We just came in like it was any other game," Morrow said.

Mike Ribeiro and Stephane Robidas each had two assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves in his sixth start with Dallas since being acquired from Atlanta.

"We had to take advantage of our power plays," Richards said. "They're battling right now in a tough situation where they have to win, so you're probably not going to get a lot of 5-on-5."

The Kings, vying for their first postseason berth since 2002, lost their third straight and are 5-6-2 since the Olympic break. Los Angeles is eighth in the Western Conference with a seven-point lead over Calgary and eight games remaining.

The four power-play goals for Dallas equaled the most allowed by Los Angeles.

"Our special teams were no good," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "The penalty killing was no good and the power play was no good."

Michal Handzus opened the scoring at 15:52 of the first period on a rebound of Anze Kopitar's shot. But staggered penalties to Wayne Simmonds and Kings teammate Sean O'Donnell during the final 47 seconds of the period gave Dallas a two-man advantage that led to the tying goal by Morrow 17 seconds into the second period.

"It's a lot easier to start a period on the power play than when you're killing one," Morrow said. "It's always a good feeling when you're coming out with fresh ice.

"When you get a fresh sheet out there, it's going to be a lot easier."

The play that led to Morrow's 18th goal started when Robidas intercepted an attempted backhanded clearing pass by defenseman Rob Scuderi and threw it into the low slot to Ribeiro, who slid the puck over to Morrow at the other side of the crease.

Richards made it 2-1 when his intended centering pass to Ott from the left circle caromed off Scuderi's right skate and into the net while Jarret Stoll was off for high-sticking at 4:20.

"I made a big mistake on that first goal that I take complete credit for," Scuderi said. "On the second one, I was in the right position, but the puck bounced right off my stake and into the net. Sometimes when it is not your night, it is not your night.

"The biggest disappointment is that it was a real deflator for the whole team."

The Stars connected again at 9:15 of the second during 4-on-3 advantage - 10 seconds after defenseman Drew Doughty went off for tripping. Robidas sent a quick pass to Richards for a long one-timer that beat Jonathan Quick for a 3-1 lead.

"After getting a couple of big penalty kills in the first period and giving them only one power-play goal, it was important that we came back and did what we did," Richards said. "We moved our feet and drew some penalties, and the power play did a good job. It probably deflated them, because they threw a lot at us in the first."

Richards' 17th career multigoal effort, along with an assist on Ott's goal, gave him 85 points.

"Brad's always been the playmaker and the quarterback on the power play," Morrow said. "He always makes the unexpected play that the other team isn't ready for. We've seen it time and time again, so you always have to be prepared and keep your stick on the ice because it's probably coming back to you."

Ryan Smyth got an interference penalty with 35 seconds left in the second period, and the Stars cashed in 48 seconds into the third when Ott converted a rebound of James Neal's one-timer from the right circle for his 16th goal. The Kings had allowed only two goals in 36 short-handed situations over their previous 11 games.

NOTES: Dallas is the only NHL team that hasn't had a winning streak of more than two games this season. The Stars had a five-game streak last season from Jan. 31 through Feb. 3. ... The Stars haven't gone an entire season without beating the Kings since 1995-96, when all four games ended in ties. ... Dallas has scored five goals with a two-man advantage this season, but hasn't allowed any in 11 5-on-3s against them. ... The Stars will miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1987 and 1988, when the franchise was based in Minnesota.

scoring summary
1st Period
15:52
LAK
PPG - Michal Handzus (17) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Smyth (25), Anze Kopitar (43)
1 - 0 LAK
2nd Period
00:17
DAL
PPG - Brenden Morrow (18) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Ribeiro (31), Stephane Robidas (29)
1 - 1 Tie
04:20
DAL
PPG - Brad Richards (22) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Ribeiro (32)
2 - 1 DAL
09:15
DAL
PPG - Brad Richards (23) Slapshot - ASST: Stephane Robidas (30)
3 - 1 DAL
3rd Period
00:48
DAL
PPG - Steve Ott (16) Wrist shot - ASST: James Neal (25), Brad Richards (62)
4 - 1 DAL
penalty summary
1st Period
11:50
DAL
Karlis Skrastins  Interference against  Wayne Simmonds
14:51
DAL
Jamie Benn  Roughing against  Dustin Brown
17:13
DAL
Brandon Segal  Interference on goalkeeper against  Jonathan Quick
19:13
LAK
Wayne Simmonds  Tripping against  Brian Sutherby
19:42
LAK
Sean O'Donnell  Interference against  Brenden Morrow
2nd Period
03:10
LAK
Jarret Stoll  Hi-sticking against  Mark Fistric
07:22
DAL
Mark Fistric  Interference against  Dustin Brown
08:07
LAK
Michal Handzus  Interference on goalkeeper against  Kari Lehtonen
09:05
LAK
Drew Doughty  Tripping against  James Neal
12:45
DAL
Steve Ott  Roughing against  Sean O'Donnell
12:45
DAL
Steve Ott  Hi-sticking against  Sean O'Donnell
12:45
LAK
Sean O'Donnell  Roughing against  Steve Ott
19:25
LAK
Ryan Smyth  Interference against  Stephane Robidas
3rd Period
02:24
LAK
Jeff Halpern  Interference against  Mike Ribeiro
03:31
DAL
Stephane Robidas  Interference against  Dustin Brown
10:52
DAL
Jamie Benn  Cross checking against  Ryan Smyth
goalie stats
Kari Lehtonen
SA: 30TOI: 60:00
Saves: 29EV: 21 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 8
SV%: .967SH: 1 - 1
Jonathan Quick
SA: 26TOI: 60:00
Saves: 22EV: 15 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 11
SV%: .846SH: 0 - 0