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Recap: Dallas dominant in second period, holds on for 2-1 win over LA

Kings lose Blake Lizotte to injury early, then the game in spite of Jonathan Quick’s brilliance

Dallas Stars v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

What to See Before Puck Drop

  • The Los Angeles Kings host the Dallas Stars as the second game of a double header on a nationally televised broadcast on NBCSN. Time will tell if the home team comes out to play at the approximate 7:15 PM PST puck drop (as opposed to the typical 7:38 times).
  • We will see if returning Kings veterans Dustin Brown, Trevor Lewis, and Alec Martinez can provide boosts to the home team after absences of various lengths.
  • The Dallas Stars have won their last four games, after losing three out of four prior to that. In their last three wins, they scored four goals in each game.
  • Dallas will be missing ex-Anaheim Duck Corey Perry (suspension) and one of their top defensemen John Klingberg.
  • Anton Khudobin starts in goal for Dallas, as opposed to Dallas Maverick, er uh, former-King Ben Bishop. Starting for the LA Kings is Jonathan Quick.
  • Since it’s Video Game Night at Staples Center, I look back to my days playing NHL ‘96 on my Sega Genesis. Playing as the Kings, I always had trouble going 82-0 in the regular season. An occasional game would come when I couldn’t score a goal to save my life. However, I would score at least five in the 70+ wins with ease.

The Puck Drops at 7:15 Local Time, So . . .

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar came into the game needing one assist for 600 in his NHL career. At 2:01 of the first period, Kopitar didn’t quite reach that milestone, but still made some history, thanks to a brilliant feed from Tyler Toffoli:

That goal putting the Kings up 1-0 was his 328th career goal for the franchise, putting him one ahead of Bernie Nicholls, and fourth overall, on the Kings all-time goal-scoring list. Alex Iafallo was credited with a secondary assist on the goal, setting a new career-high 8-game point streak for him.

The Kings almost doubled the lead at 2-0 with 3:10 left in the first, when Kyle Clifford started a flurry of scoring chances. They were close, but the puck stayed out. The rest of the first period played out quite evenly, with the Kings holding a slight 7-6 shot advantage. Not all was well for the Kings concluding the first period with a lead, however, as they lost Blake Lizotte to a lower body injury.

The second period started with the Stars taking control of the game. For the first ten minutes, they held an 8-3 shot advantage. Jonathan Quick kept Dallas off the score sheet to that point. The game opened up as the period progressed. The Stars kept pushing.

They tied the game at a goal apiece on the power play after Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was forced to take a slashing penalty to take away a scoring chance. Dallas’ Jamie Benn had Quick at his mercy after Tyler Seguin’s deceptive stick handling and pass:

The Stars scored 37 seconds later after Blake Comeau blasted a laser of a shot off of a lofted clearing pass from defenseman Esa Lindell:

The Stars ended the period up 2-1, outshooting the Kings 19 to 9. If not for Jonathan Quick’s brilliance in goal, Los Angeles easily could have faced a goal deficit larger than one after two periods.

In the third period, Dallas seemed content at clogging up the neutral zone, making it difficult for the Kings to generate any dangerous scoring chances. Jonathan Quick came up with a few more clutch saves to keep Los Angeles within a goal. Ultimately, whenever the Kings got into the attacking zone, the Stars kept most of the shots around the perimeter, or blocked shots coming from the middle of the ice. When called upon, Stars goalie Anton Khudobin stayed strong. Even with Quick pulled for the extra attacker, Los Angeles could not score the tying goal. Dallas extended their winning streak to five games. For Los Angeles starting the new calendar year with three straight losses, 2020 has not looked good so far.

Up Next

Tonight at Vegas Golden Knights, 7 PM PST, the first game of a five game road trip.