Los Angeles Kings Lose Scoring Fest to Dallas Stars 6-4

Jan 9, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Dallas Stars right wing Brett Ritchie (25) scores a goal on Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj (31) during the first period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Dallas Stars right wing Brett Ritchie (25) scores a goal on Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj (31) during the first period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Kings fell to the Dallas Stars 6-4 after a flurry of scoring in the final period resulted in both goaltenders being yanked from the game.

The Stars were heading into this match on a 3 game losing streak and without the services of Jamie Benn, who remained out with a foot injury.

The scratches tonight for Los Angeles were Tom Gilbert, Andy Andreoff, and Kevin Gravel, the same as their game against the Minnesota Wild.

The scratches for the Stars were Patrick Nemeth, Stephen Johns, and Curtis McKenzie, the same choices for their last game against the St. Louis Blues.

This was Anze Kopitar’s 800th career game, all of which have come in a Kings uniform. He is now just 5 games away from tying Rob Blake for 5th in franchise history in that category.

The Stars had an early scoring chance, but Peter Budaj got just enough of the puck for it to clang off the post.

The first period nearly concluded without any goals, until a Jeff Carter giveaway near the net lead to a goal from Bret Ritchie at 19:03 into the period. Lauri Korpikoski alertly centered the puck to Ritchie who buried it at point blank range past Budaj.

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The Kings gave up another goal off a giveaway in the 2nd period. Jonathan Nolan lost the puck, leading to Jason Spezza feeding Tyler Seguin. The Dallas leading scorer flipped the puck over Budaj, who desperately flailed his arm to keep the puck out to no avail. The goal came at 9:04 into the period.

The Kings got their first power play opportunity when the Stars were called for too many men on the ice at 12:55 into the period. It was short lived, though, as 31 seconds later Jake Muzzin went to the box for holding Jordie Benn.

However, the Kings got a shorthanded goal from Nick Shore after the Stars’ penalty came to an end. Tanner Pearson and Drew Doughty got the assists at 15:05 into the period.

The Stars answered right back at 17:43 into the period. Off the faceoff win by Radek Faksa, Jamie Oleksiak lit the lamp. Faksa and Patrick Sharp got the assists.

The Stars came into this game tied for 4th in the league in goals given up in the 3rd period. It looked like the Kings had a solid chance to make up the deficit.

Doughty was slashed by Cody Eakin just 32 seconds into the period in a very unnecessary penalty. The Kings took advantage of it, as Dustin Brown beat Kari Lehtonen from the right side on a nice pass from Nic Dowd. Alec Martinez got the other assist at 2:16 into the period.

With that goal, Brown moved past Charlie Simmer into sole possession of 8th place on the all time goal scoring list for the Kings at 223 goals.

The Stars weren’t fazed, though. Just 43 seconds later a pass from behind the net by Faksa to Devin Shore was inadvertently tipped in by Budaj. Sharp got the other assist at 2:59 into the period.

It was starting to seem like a video game when Kopitar beat Lehtonen high glove side at 4:20 into the period. Derek Forbort and Trevor Lewis got the assists.

It was a night of important milestones. With the goal, Kopitar moved past Wayne Gretzky into sole possession of 6th place on the all time Kings goal scoring list with 247 goals.

Spezza went to the box at 4:43 into the period for hooking Dwight King. The Kings answered on the power play with a goal from Doughty at 5:18 into the period. Kopitar and Jeff Carter got the assists. That turned out to be it for Lehtonen, who was pulled in the second straight game for Antti Niemi.

The scoring fest continued as Jiri Hudler scored on a scramble in front of the net at 7:44 into the period. Seguin got the assist on Hudler’s first score of the season.

For those keeping track, it was 5 total goals between the two teams in a span of less than 5 and a half minutes.

With slightly over 9 minutes remaining in the game, Budaj was switched for Jeff Zatkoff. Suddenly it was a showdown between the backup goalies.

Zatkoff was pulled for the extra attacker with a little over a minute left in the game, but Sharp sealed the victory with an unassisted empty net goal at 19:07 into the period. 

The Stars outshot the Kings 26-22. Dallas went 0-1 on the power play, while the Kings capitalized on 2 out of their 3 chances on the man advantage.

Next: Los Angeles Kings to Face Dallas Stars After Plane Malfunction

The Kings will continue their homestand against the St. Louis Blues on January 12. The Stars will make the short trip to Orange County to play the Anaheim Ducks January 10.