Game 45: Kings Win 4-3(OT), improve to 26-14-5
LOS ANGELES – While it certainly wasn’t a game filled with many highlight-reel goals, the Los Angeles Kings won nonetheless as they move two points up on San Jose (who lost earlier) and are guaranteed to finish to worse than seventh in the West, although that’s not what the Kings and their fans are aiming for.
Entering Sunday’s contest, the Dallas Stars were just two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. That on top of their 3-1-0 record against Los Angeles this season meant that the Stars were hungry for a win and determined to leave Staples Center with some momentum. But the Kings had other ideas as Mike Richards opened the scoring, notching his 12th of the year past Kari Lehtonen. Dallas, though, did get some lucky breaks as the Kings had a goal called back as Trevor Lewis thought he scored only to discover that Lehtonen had been interfered with. Nonetheless, the Kings entered the first intermission with the lead.
In the second, it was Dustin Brown adding to the lead as he fluttered a shot on net that found its way through. It wasn’t pretty but Brown was happy to take his 17th to give Los Angeles the two-goal lead. But the Stars, to their credit, answered right back as Loui Eriksson scored just 20 seconds later to put the road team on the board.
The Stars were done there, however, as rookie Antoine Roussel scored later in the frame to tie the game and just 43 seconds into the third, defenseman Alex Goligoski slapped his third past Quick to give Dallas their first lead of the night.
Despite giving up three unanswered goals, the Kings did not give up as just over two minutes later, they capitalized on the power play as Dustin Brown was on the doorstep to tap in his second of the game to tie the game. The score remained that way until the end of regulation.
In overtime, Jonathan Quick, as he had been doing for much of the night, was in beast mode stopping everything thrown his way. If it weren’t for Quick, the Kings could have been out of the game fairly early. But many of his 24 saves were timely and kept his team in it and ultimately gave them the opportunity to win it – and that’s just what they did.
With just under a minute to go in regulation, Mike Richards patiently came down the wing and shot a weak one towards the net that found its way past Kari Lehtonen and in it. After further review, the goal stood and the Kings won. However, it was Jeff Carter who got credit for his 25th but no matter as the Kings are now two points ahead of San Jose for fourth in the West and they still hold the tiebreaker.
After a trying season series, the Kings may end up only 2-3-0 against the Stars but they finish the series on a high note and as far as they’re concerned, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish – and Los Angeles couldn’t be any happier with that.
Unfortunately with Anaheim winning tonight, the Kings don’t pick up any ground in the Pacific but I’m sure you won’t hear any complaints about that in Los Angeles tonight.
The Kings have now won two straight as they head north to prepare for their final back-to-back games of the regular season beginning Tuesday night in Minnesota.