Eriksson powers the Stars to a 5-4 win over the Kings

Final (SO)

Dallas Stars 5 – Los Angeles Kings 4

Wow, what a firecracker of a game between these two last night. This one had a little bit of everything in it: Great saves, great goals, fights, vicious hits and an intense playoff atmosphere. After what happened in the game against Anaheim, to see the Stars come out in this game and actually look like they wanted to play the entire game was encouraging though it remains to be seen if they can actually keep this up.

Dallas got out early in this game to a 2-0 lead through the first period. The Kings would outscore Dallas 2-1 in the second and third periods. Dallas actually had to make a comeback in order to send it into overtime. I don’t know what it is about the second period but the opposing team always seems to score multiple goals in that period while Dallas gets nothing. While the win was nice, there were a lot of things to worry about, particularly the special teams. The Kings are a really bad offensive team, so allowing 4 goals to them is a big nono.

There’s a lot of subplots to touch on after this one. First off is how great Loui Eriksson was. He was all over the ice and ended up providing the game tieing (though Willie Mitchell actually had an own goal) and winner in the shootout for a pseudo hat trick. Was he sending a message after that All-Star snub? I doubt he would care about that but he certainly looked like he was a man on a mission last night.

Brenden Morrow had a questionable looking hit on Anze Kopitar late in the third period with 7 minutes left. Kopitar had the puck behind the Stars net and looked to have his head down. Morrow absolutely crushed him with his shoulder (he hit Kopitar in the shoulder, not the head) and Kopitar put on his display of ragdoll physics. He twirled around in the air and smashed his head against the boards and was down on the ice for a while.

Morrow was immediately jumped by Mike Richards and proceeded to fight him. Richards was given an instigator penalty and violated the visor rule resulting in a 10 minute game misconduct. The ensuing four minute power-play for the Stars is when they tied the game, sending it into overtime. 

The end of the overtime also provided some angry feelings. Drew Doughty shot a puck that Lehtonen saved and held. Doughty didn’t slow down on his rush to the net, trucked Lehtonen and then dogpiled on him. Sheldon Souray took exception and dragged Doughty off of Lehtonen and proceeded to give him a beating.

Justin Williams attempted to help out Doughty but he was caught by Jamie Benn and thrown to the ice, into the net. Benn then jumped on top of him and punched him in the face what must’ve been at least 10-15 times. The best part was that Benn somehow didn’t receive a penalty. Lehtonen was down for while but it seems he’s okay.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=X9k-3mVWrBQ

Dallas really needed to win this game and got it as Eriksson scored the only goal in the shootout. Points are at a premium now and each one, especially against division rivals, is of utmost importance.

The next game for the Stars is on Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche. Early 2 PM start for that one.

Game Notes:

  • Nick Grossman made an embarassment of himself in this one. He made mistakes that led to each of the Kings first two goals. On the first one, he had good position on Anze Kopitar in front of the net. The puck was passed over to Kopitar and Grossman put his stick out to intercept the puck. The only problem was that he completely missed it and Kopitar had an easy tip-in goal. He made an even worse mistake on the second goal. The puck was an center ice and shot into the air. As the puck floated down, Grossman attempted to catch it but again, completely missed and caught air. The puck landed behind him, which Trevor Lewis picked up for a breakaway and the Kings second goal.
  • Dallas just took way too many penalties in this game. The Kings ended up with 7 attempts and scored on 3 of them. The only saving grace was that Dallas had 6 power-plays of their own and scored at least once, breaking the Kings streak on the PK. Special teams though continues to haunt this team.
  • Jamie Benn had nearly 25 minutes of ice time (24:57), which was by far the most for any forward for the Stars. He had the second most minutes of any player for Dallas and the only forward of the 5 guys who played at least 20 minutes.
  • The Kings had to get creative with their shootout guys. Anze Kopitar was injured while Mike Richards and Drew Doughty were tossed from the game. Trevor Lewis ended up with the first shootout attempt of his career.
  • This was definitely not your usual Kings-Stars game. A low scoring tight game this was not.

 

Game Stats and Scoring Summary:

 

  Dallas    Los Angeles
Score 5 4
Shots 38 41
Penalty Minutes 23 41
Power Plays 1 of 6 3 of 7
Blocked Shots 12 11
Hits 37 39
Faceoff Wins 33 28

 

1st Period:

  • 14:04 – Loui Eriksson (15)                                    Dal 1 – LA 0
    Assists: Tom Wandell, Brenden Morrow
  • 14:55 – Eric Nystrom (13)                                     Dal 2 – LA 0
    Assist: Radek Dvorak

2nd Period:

  • 6:16 – Anze Kopitar (13) (Power Play)                   Dal 2 – LA 1
    Assists: Jack Johnson, Justin Williams
  • 7:14 – Alex Goligoski (5)                                      Dal 3 – LA 1
    Assists: Michael Ryder, Brenden Morrow
  • 9:22 – Trevor Lewis (1)                                        Dal 3 – LA 2
    Assists: Brad Richardson, Jack Johnson

3rd Period:

  • 6:38Jack Johnson (7) (Power Play)                     Dal 3 – LA 3
    Assists: Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar
  • 8:55 – Dustin Brown (11) (Power Play)                   Dal 3 – LA 4
    Assists: Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams
  • 14:35 – Loui Eriksson (16) (Power Play)                  Dal 4 – LA 4
    Assists: Michael Ryder, Alex Goligoski

Overtime:

No goals

Shootout:

  • Shootout attempt by Jarret Stoll MISSES
  • Shootout attempt by Michael Ryder saved by Jonathan Quick
  • Shootout attempt by Dustin Brown saved by Kari Lehtonen
  • Shootout GOAL scored by Loui Eriksson on Jonathan Quick
  • Shootout attempt by Trevor Lewis saved by Kari Lehtonen
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