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Kings vs Stars: Recap

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

Don’t call it a festive mood for the Kings on the eve of 2014, as they dropped their fourth consecutive game tonight at the hands of the Dallas Stars.

It was a rare stumble for the Kings tonight at the American Airlines Center, where they had gone 11-2-2 in their previous 15 contests in Dallas, Texas.

The Kings started the night in promising fashion, but couldn’t preserve their early momentum, losing to Dallas for the second time in eight days.

Jeff Carter initiated the night’s scoring; capitalizing on a Kings 4-on-3 power play with his 13th goal of the season as he redirected home a Mike Richards shot past Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen 12:23 minutes into play to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.

Then, Dallas’ power play, the league’s 29th-ranked unit, went to work. Just over three minutes after the Kings grabbed the early lead, Erik Cole snapped home a rebound past Ben Scrivens to knot the contest 1-1 with 4:02 remaining in the first period.

The Kings’ weakest moments of the night came in the second period, where they were out-shot 11-6, took two minor penalties, and surrendered two goals.

Tyler Seguin would strike for the Stars’ man-advantage unit to give Dallas a 2-1 lead with 8:47 remaining in the second period, banking a shot off of Ben Scrivens as he skated in alone on the back-end of a play.

2:03 minutes later, Dallas’ Erik Cole would record his second goal of the night, giving Dallas a 3-1 lead heading into the third and final period.

At this point, the Kings looked down, trodden, and tried.

Anze Kopitar lifted spirits, and inched the Kings closer to a comeback, as he pounced on a loose puck and wristed a puck past Kari Lehtonen for his 13th goal of the campaign, tightening the score 3-2 just 1:05 minutes into the final frame.

That would be all the success for the Kings tonight, as they could only muster four more shots on Dallas’ goaltender in the final 19 minutes.

The Kings have now lost four consecutive games – which is a new season-high.

Discipline has been an issue for the Kings as of late, as they took six minor penalties tonight, and now have 184 on the season – which is the second-most in the NHL.

Dallas executed on two of the Kings six penalties, and came into tonight’s contest with the NHL’s 29th-ranked (second-worst) man-advantage unit.

Ben Scrivens was rather solid in the crease, stopping 29 of Dallas’ 32 shots.

The Kings now have a 25-12-4 record, which equals in at 54 points, and sit at fifth-place in the Western Conference.

The Kings have one more stop on their current four-game road-trip before returning home to STAPLES Center on Saturday night. They’ll be in Missouri on Thursday evening for a date with the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.

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