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Kings keep Stars in check, beat Dallas 3-2

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES – The Kings held the NHL’s most potent offense to just two goals Tuesday night in their 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars at STAPLES Center.

The Stars came into the night boasting two of the league’s top three scorers in Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, but both were held without a point due to the Kings’ impressive defensive play and another remarkable performance from Jonathan Quick.

Dallas was quick to strike first as the Kings game out rather slow during the opening minutes of play, Ales Hemsky giving the Stars a 1-0 lead 3:03 minutes into play.

The Kings, though, found their feet, and capitalized on their first power play of the evening when Vincent Lecavalier powered home his third goal in as many games.

After being denied on a one-time opportunity, Jamie McBain replicated the sequence Lecavalier and the Kings first failed on, feeding the veteran centerman a soft pass which he stepped into, this time beating Kari Lehtonen high to the blocker side.

During the final minute of play in the first, the Kings found the net again, taking a 2-1 lead when Drew Doughty struck for his eighth goal of the season.

Hounding Dallas’ zone on a dump-in, Anze Kopitar nixed a Stars clearing opportunity and fed a pass to Doughty high atop the left point. Doughty, with time and space, walked into a shot that found its way through traffic low past Lehtonen on the far side.

The Stars were quick to strike back, tying the game 2-2 a mere 33 seconds later with only 36 seconds left in the opening frame.

Neither team found the net in the second period.

Six minutes into the third, and after some outstanding puck movement and possession in Dallas’ zone, Milan Lucic wristed home his 12th goal of the season to give the Kings a 3-2 lead.

Lucic, after receiving a pass from Anze Kopitar atop the Stars’ slot, fired a wrist shot through a Dallas defender and off of traffic in front of Lehtonen’s net for the go-ahead goal.

Jake Muzzin, with the secondary assist on Lucic’s marker, extended his point-streak to eight games, the longest by a Kings defenseman since Lubomir Visnovsky’s nine-game streak in 2005, and the longest by a Kings player since Dustin Brown’s 10-game streak in 2012.

Jonathan Quick remained solid throughout the rest of the game, earning his ninth win in his last 11 games; he’s posted a 1.72 GAA and a .938 SV% during that span.

Anze Kopitar (2A) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Drew Doughty in shots taken (5), Brayden McNabb in hits delivered (5), Jake Muzzin in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (29:48). Jonathan Quick made 27 saves in the win.

The Kings will finish off their home stand Thursday night when they host the Minnesota Wild at STAPLES Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:30 PM PST.





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