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Kings snap slide, down Dallas in first road win

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

– In what was an extremely fast-paced affair Tuesday night, the Kings cranked out a 3-1 win against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center, notching their first road victory of the season.

Dallas came flaunting their speed, but the Kings didn’t let it control or hurt their game. The first period was filled with chance after chance on the rush by both clubs, a very quick paced opening frame with plenty of flow.

“We played our game, “ Dustin Brown said following the win. “Five guys back, blocking shots, helping each other out. We made a lot more tape-to-tape passes tonight which allowed us to play more in their end.”

The Stars hit the scoreboard first, though, registering the only goal of the opening frame.

It was Dallas’ outstanding neutral zone speed and passing that produced the night’s opening goal. It finished with Shawn Horcoff receiving a pass behind the Kings’ defense on a two-on-one, then chipping a shot high and to the top right corner past Jonathan Quick.

The Kings found themselves down 1-0 after the first; they failed to register the first goal of a game during their entire five-game road trip, which ended tonight.

Less than three minutes into the second, Trevor Lewis provided the spark the Kings needed Tuesday night, burying his first goal of the season on a gorgeous shorthanded sequence, tying the game 1-1.

Lewis, who was hard on the forecheck during a Kings penalty kill, hopped on a loose puck, stick handled his way around Dallas defenseman Jordie Benn, then pulled off a marvelous move to score. Lewis, who read Kari Lehtonen’s impending poke check, used some slick hands to evade Lehtonen’s stick and tuck the puck into an opening low to the left side.

The Kings now have four shorthanded goals on the season; Tyler Toffoli has the other three.

Just under five minutes into the third, Dustin Brown snapped home the Kings’ second goal of the evening, giving the club their first lead of the entire road trip. Brown’s goal, the eventual game-winner, came on the captain’s 30th birthday.

Dwight King caused Dallas defenders to cough up the puck, Mike Richards handled it cleanly, found Brown, who was sliding in from atop Dallas’ zone with a pass, and he ripped home a seeing-eye shot just under the glove of Kari Lehtonen.

“Kinger did all of the work, really, and got the turnover in the high slot,” Brown said of his goal. “Rick just found me and I just shot it by the D and it found the back of the net.”

Dallas didn’t slow down facing the deficit; they recorded a whopping 17 shots during the final period.

It would be the Kings who would score again, though, icing the game.

Kyle Clifford capped off the evening’s offense by going to the net, where they say good things happen. Clifford, after a hard forecheck to keep the puck in Dallas’ zone, fled to the net, where a Trevor Lewis shot caromed off of his right skate and past Lehtonen to give the Kings a 3-1 lead with 8:25 remaining.

The Stars pulled Lehtonen with 1:50 left in regulation, giving them an extra attacker, but they couldn’t piece together any more offense.

With the 3-1 win, the Kings finished their five-game road trip with a 1-3-1 mark and head back to Los Angeles where they’ve won six consecutive games.

Trevor Lewis led all Kings players in points (1G, 1A = 2), Drew Doughty, Marian Gaborik, Tyler Toffoli, and Justin Williams in shots (4), Matt Greene in hits (5), Alec Martinez in blocked shots (4), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (31:46). Jonathan Quick made 33 saves in the win.

The Kings, now with a 7-4-2 record, have finished their five-game road trip and head back to STAPLES Center for a two-game stint on home ice. The Kings will host the New York Islanders Thursday night; the puck is slated to drop at 7:30PM PT.

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