LOS ANGELES, CA – In seeking perfection on their four-game home stand tonight, the Kings couldn’t pull by the Dallas Stars.
It’s been a wondrous stint at home for the Kings, who were fighting for their fourth-straight win tonight at STAPLES Center.
Justin Williams got the Kings started off on a positive note, opening the evening’s scoring with his 13th goal of the year, beating Kari Lehtonen with a back-hander just 2:28 into the game, giving the Kings an early 1-0 lead.
At this point, Dallas had yet to record a single shot on net.
The Stars recorded their first shot of the game 1:20 minutes later, and it produced their first goal. Tyler Seguin rocketed a wrister past Martin Jones, tying the game 1-1 just 3:38 into play.
Jamie Benn would make it 2-1 Dallas, beating Martin Jones 2:22 later on a well-placed backhand shot to the top-right corner.
Dallas scored twice on their first two shots of the game – both goals coming in a 2:22 minute span.
From here on out, the Stars took the stage.
Valeri Nichushkin reclaimed the lead for Dallas five minutes into the second period, with assists from linemates Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin to give the Stars a 3-2 lead, and the eventual game-winning goal.
Dallas’ Benn-Segun-Nichushkin line was unstoppable tonight. They combined for six points (3G, 3A) against the Kings tonight.
Cody Eakin would provide the Stars with insurance, sending home a slap-shot with 4:48 remaining in regulation.
Shawn Horcroff would provide the Stars with security, sealing a Dallas win with an empty-netter with just 1:09 left on the game clock.
Martin Jones, who had an opportunity to make NHL history once again tonight, finally put in his first loss in an NHL uniform. Jones made 19 saves on 23 Dallas shots, and was facing a team that was outworking the Kings throughout the night.
Jones, with his first-ever NHL loss, is now 8-1-0 with a .953 SV% and a 1.31 GAA.
Justin Williams has been a noted Dallas Stars killer. Williams potted two points (1G, 1A) against Dallas tonight, and now has 27 points (13G, 14A) in 30 career games against the Dallas Stars.
With a 29-5-4 record, which is good for 54 points, the Kings now stand at third-place in the Western Conference.
The Kings will take a four-day Holiday hiatus from NHL action. They’ll travel to Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday evening for a date with the Nashville Predators at 5:00PM PST.