Jeff Carter's winning goal 4 minutes, 8 seconds into overtime seemed fitting. In a back-and-forth game with plenty of unusual bounces and head-scratching decisions, he was simply the right man in the right spot at the right time for the Kings.

Mike Richards' shot from a sharp angle on left wing struck Carter in the chest and ricocheted into the Dallas Stars' net to give the Kings a 4-3 victory Sunday night at Staples Center. The Kings clinched no worse than sixth place in the Western Conference with the win.

"My feeling about this team is when the games become more meaningful, we become a better team," said Kings team captain Dustin Brown, who scored two goals. "That's a positive and a negative because there are games that maybe we feel don't mean as much, but they do.

"We like to dig a hole and then climb out of it. This year, maybe not as much."

The Kings built what sure looked like a commanding two-goal lead over the Stars by the early minutes of the second period, but squandered it. The Kings then fell behind the Stars 3-2 in the opening seconds of the third period, but Brown rallied them with a power-play goal moments later.

"I felt we handled adversity really well," Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick said. "I felt it was the reason why we won. A couple of bad bounces, a couple of calls that maybe should have gone the other way, (but) we kept working."