Riding the momentum of an epic win Sunday against San Jose, the Stars needed any kind of spark in their game tonight against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are 8-1-1 in their last ten games against the Stars in the American Airlines Center, and with players like Justin Williams and Jeff Carter playing really hot right now and Jonathan Quick looking like the MVP he was last season, the Stars certainly looked to have their hands full tonight, but as the young players have stepped up the past few games tonight the veterans took charge and lead the Stars to a 5-1 victory over Los Angeles.
It didn’t take long and the Stars were already on the penalty kill as Loui Eriksson took a double minor for high sticking only 34 seconds into the game. Los Angeles didn’t take long on converting the first powerplay into a goal as Drew Doughty scored his fourth of the season. Dallas killed off the second opportunity and began to grind their way back into this game with physical play. Dallas dominated the last ten minutes of the period and were able to draw the Los Angeles Kings into two penalties they didn’t score on the first one, but six seconds after it expired Alex Goligoski scored his second goal of the season on a slapshot from the point tying the game at one. At the 14:18 mark of the period the game went into a tv timeout and during the break, Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen had skated off the ice and went down the Stars’ tunnel with the teams medical staff and Richard Bachman had entered the game. Bachman had a combined 34 1/2 minutes played in his previous two games and hadn’t had a start since February 26th. Dallas made it the rest of the period allowing three shots on Bachman in the final five minutes of the period. The Kings and Stars were tied at one after one period.
No goals were scored in the second, but none the less this period was one of the best the Stars played all season. The Stars penalty kill was really put to the test this period as an Aaron Rome double-minor for high sticking put the Stars in a corner, but a round of applause to Richard Bachman, Eric Nystrom, Vernon Fiddler, Alex Goligoski, Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley, Brenden Dillon, Cody Eakin, and Eric Cole as they kept the Stars in the game and gave them a big momentum push killing off two penalties in the second period and not really allowing a premium scoring chance for the Kings. Dallas faced 17 LA shots in the period and eight on the powerplay, but they stood strong and kept the game tied at one going into the third period.
The Stars opening rush into the offensive zone paid off greatly as Alex Chiasson set up Ray Whitney for his eighth goal of the season just 52 seconds into the period. This seemed to have a domino effect on the Kings as Dallas scored three additional goals this period, including another one by Ray Whitney and two by Vernon Fiddler. Dallas dominated Los Angeles in the third period and shut them down to just five shots giving Richard Bachman 22 saves on 22 shots as the Stars defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-1.
- Congratulations to Ed Belfour who was named as a member of the 20th Anniversary Team
- Kari Lehtonen left tonight’s game with a “Lower Body Injury” and will be re-evaluated Wednesday.
- PLAYOFF WATCH: With tonight’s win Dallas leapfrogs over Columbus to ninth place in the west and only two points behind eighth place Detroit, and nine games remaining this season and the regular season finale will be against Detroit this year.
- Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley both ended tonights game a +4 on the scoresheet. The +4 brings Daley and Robidas to an even 0 on the season.
- With tonight’s win Richard Bachman has won his last three decisions in a row including the game against the Minnesota Wild where he played a full 2:32 to pick up the win.
- Kings’ player names you heard a lot of tonight: Regehr, Richards, and Quick. Names you didn’t hear a lot of: Kopitar, Carter, Williams
- Official Attendance for tonight’s game: 16,367
- Three Stars of the Game chosen by John Tranchina of the Associated Press: 1. Ray Whitney 2. Vernon Fiddler 3. Stephane Robidas
- Keep Dallas Pesky honorable mention to Richard Bachman as he made 22 saves on 22 King shots in relief of Kari Lehtonen tonight.
- The Stars have a couple of days off before they travel to Music City to finish their season series against the Nashville Predators Friday, puck drops at 7:00 pm