Getting a stunning team effort from a hobbled lineup, the Stars on Monday beat the Los Angeles Kings and rookie goalie Martin Jones, 5-2. The win pushes the Stars’ road record to 11-8-2. "We feel real good about it. We did a lot of good things tonight," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We knew with the defense we had, young defense, we were going to have to weather a little bit of the storm, but I thought after we got through the first period, we really played good hockey." Relying on a top line that has dominated on the road, Dallas also received great performances from Kari Lehtonen in goal and Brenden Dillon on defense to stop Jones’ quest to become the first goalie in NHL history to win his first nine starts. Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists, while Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist, and Valeri Nichushkin scored his seventh goal of the season as Jones fell to 8-1-0. Seguin now ranks second in road points at 26 (13 goals, 13 assists), while Benn is third at 24 (eight goals, 16 assists). "Obviously, they have some guys that can put the puck in the net," said Kings center Anze Kopitar. "We wanted to manage the puck a little better and control the neutral zone and play in the offensive zone, and we didn’t spend enough time there" Dallas moves to 18-12-6 (42 points), while Los Angeles falls to 25-9-4 (54 points). The game started bad for the Stars, as Los Angeles dominated possession of the puck and scored 2:28 into the game. Kopitar made a nice shot on goal in transition, and Justin Williams buzzed the net and flipped in the rebound for his 13 goal of the year. Williams had two goals and an assist when the Kings beat the Stars 5-2 Oct. 19 at Staples Center, and this game had the same feel. But, out of nowhere, the top line seized control. Benn found Seguin in the slot, and Seguin lifted in his 19 goal of the season at the 3:48 mark to tie the game. Then, at the 6:10 mark of the first period, Benn came up with a loose puck and charged down the right wing like a freight train. The Stars captain lifted in a backhand shot for his 11 goal of the season, and Dallas had a 2-1 lead. "They’re good players. Tyler’s got elite speed and Jamie Benn has elite puck-handling skill, and I think the young 18-year-old is going to be something special," Ruff said. "They had a rough game up in San Jose, probably were our worst line, but they responded by being the reason we won tonight, which was good to see."
Stars' top line prevents Kings' rookie phenom goalie from making history
Dallas Morning News | Dec 24