Game 40: Kings Lose 5-1, fall to 22-14-4
DALLAS – It was a close game for the first 40 minutes but then the Los Angeles Kings imploded in the third period as they go on to lose 5-1 to the Dallas Starsfalling 1-3-0 in their season series with their Texas rivals.
After being rewarded with a four-minute power play almost right off the bat, the Kings opened the scoring just 1:13 into the game as Drew Doughty wristed a top-corner shot for his fourth tally of the year and third in as many games. The lead, however, doesn’t last long as Dallas’ Alex Goligoski scored on a screen at the 11:16 of the first to tie the game.
Before the end of the first was out, however, Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen left the game with a lower-body injury and considering how great the Finn had been against Los Angeles thus far this season, that should have been good news for the Kings. Alas, it was not as Richard Bachman came on in relief and was slid making 22 saves overall including 17 in the second period alone.
After a scoreless middle frame, the Stars (who are fighting for a playoff spot) came to life in the third. After Ray Whitney scored just 52 seconds into the frame, Vernon Fiddler added some insurance at the 7:58 mark. After Whitney and Fiddler each scored another goal each, the onslaught stopped by the damage was done as the Kings lose thanks to a terrible showing in the third. Their three-game point streak has now come to an end.
During the first three games of the season series, it was the road team winning each time. After Tuesday, however, that trend has changed and hopefully for the Kings, it will continue as they will play host to the Stars on April 21 in what will be the final meeting of the season between the clubs. After this loss unfortunately, it won’t matter to the Kings which Dallas netminder starts as they discovered that they have equal amount of difficulty regardless if it’s Lehtonen or Bachman.
Aside from Drew Doughty’s recent hot streak, the Kings can take some comfort knowing that both San Jose and Minnesota lost on Tuesday which means that they remain in fourth in the West and in addition, hopefully this loss will be a wakeup call for the Kings as they return home on Thursday night to face the Colorado Avalanche.