The Kings entered Tuesday Night’s showdown in Dallas with a lot of questions. Where is the passion and energy? Should John Stevens be fired? and would the much talked about closed door meeting after Saturday’s disaster against Buffalo yield any instant results. While the Kings did look better in tonight’s performance, the losing streak continues as the Stars got the 4-2 victory at American Airlines Center. Let’s take a quick look at tonight’s action
- The first ten minutes of the game were dominated by the Stars. For the first few minutes the Kings could barely get out of their own zone. The Kings were able to survive this stretch for a few minutes, before Blake Comeau got a one timer from the slot past Quick. 1-0 Stars.
- At about the halfway point of the period the Kings finally started to get going. They had a really good stretch of offensive zone time where they got some decent shots off, but nothing past Ben Bishop.
- With 2:37 left in the period the Kings got their first power play of the night thanks to Jason Dickinson tripping Sheldon Rempal. The Power play however was uneventful as the Kings were never able to get set in the offensive zone.
- The Kings looked better as the period went on, but went into the locker room down a goal.
- The 2nd period saw the Kings continue to control possession and have the majority of the chances. At the 16:25 mark, the Kings had one of their best chances of the whole game. Blake Comeau turned the puck over in the Stars zone leaving right on the plate of Tyler Toffoli. This led to a scramble in front of the net where the puck eventually found its way to Alex Iafallo with a mostly open net in front of him. Sadly for the Kings he was unable to convert as Stars Defenceman Juilus Honka (who had missed the pass from Comeau seconds earlier to set up the scoring chance) was able to get a skate in front of the net and keep the Kings off the board.
- Just before the midway point of the period and the game, the Stars got another run going. Some shots on goal got them back into it. Then just before the 11 minute mark, the Kings gave up a clean offensive zone entry. Justin Dowling put the puck on net, Quick gave up a huge rebound, and Jason Spezza fired it home. 2-0 Stars.
- Fast Forward to just after the 7 minute mark. An outlet pass by the Stars leaves Blake Comeau all alone on a breakaway chance. A chance that was denied by Jonathan Quick in what looked like a momentum changing moment.
- This certainly looked to be the case as less than a minute later the Kings got their first goal of the night. As the Kings got set up in their own zone, Drew Doughty made a touchdown like pass to Captain Anze Kopitar who used the backhand to get the puck 5 hole on Bishop. 2-1 Stars.
- After that crazy minute or so of play, it looked like the Kings were right back in the game with all the momentum too. It didn’t last long. While the Kings goal was still being announced over the PA System, the Stars went right back on attack and into the offensive zone. John Klingberg then took a wrist shot from the point that went through traffic and seemingly off Jeff Carter’s stick and into the net. 3-1 Stars.
- The Kings kept fighting though and with just under 3 minutes left in the period, the 2nd goal of the night. Kings rookie Sean Walker picked up his first career NHL point in his first career NHL game as his stretch pass down the ice set up Tyler Toffoli who sniped it past Ben Bishop’s glove. 3-2 Stars.
- With 1:37 left in the period Adrian Kempe continued his trend of offensive zone penalties. Interference was the call and the Stars went to the Power Play.
- That Power Play however was brief as just 33 seconds later Jason Spezza was called for tripping setting up 4 on 4.
- There would be one more penalty before the period ended however as Ilya Kovalchuk was sent to the sin bin with 27 seconds left for high sticking.
- The Stars got a shot off as the buzzer sounded that made it past Quick, but the review clearly showed the puck did not make it into the net in time. The period ended with the Kings trailing by a goal but still very much in it.
- The Kings were able to kill off the brief 4 on 3 power play by the Stars and the first few minutes of the period were pretty even.
- At the 16:35 mark, the defining moment of the period. The Kings gave up another offensive zone penalty by...you guessed it, Adrian Kempe. Holding was the call on this occasion.
- Just about a minute later, A Power Play Goal for the Stars. Tyler Seguin put a one timer on the net. The rebound was picked up right in front of the net by Tyler Pitlick who put it home. 4-2 Stars.
- With the two goal lead the Stars played it safe for the majority of the period. The Kings were able to get some good shots on net, most notably a wonderful chance by Nate Thompson that Ben Bishop made a great save on.
- With about 3 minutes remaining, John Stevens brought Quick to the bench for the extra skater. The Stars had multiple chances to put in the empty netter but were never able to as the Kings stayed in the game for the final seconds. Jeff Carter did a goal in the net with 28 seconds remaining, but after a video review it was disallowed due to Carter batting the puck into the net via his glove.
- The final seconds ticked away and the Stars handed the Kings their 5th straight loss by a score of 4-2.
The Good news? The Kings looked a lot better tonight than they did last week. There was more intensity, and the chemistry issues seem to be getting better. Sean Walker also had a very good debut picking up an assist thanks to a beautiful stretch pass to Tyler Toffoli.
The Bad news? We’re still losing. Some unlucky bounces, Quick giving up a huge rebound, and Adrian Kempe’s continued penalty issues brought the Kings down tonight. The Penalty Kill as a whole also continues to be a problem.
The Kings will travel to Minnesota on Wednesday where they will face the Minnesota Wild on Thursday Night to cap off this quick central division road trip.