Sunday, October 23, 2011
Stars roll out solid effort, but fall to Kings
By Mark Stepneski
The Dallas Stars rolled out a solid effort Saturday night in Los Angeles, perhaps their best effort of the season. But it wasn’t enough to get them two points against Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings. Quick stopped 28 shots for his third straight shutout as the Kings topped Dallas 1-0, stopping the Stars’ winning streak at five games.
“We’re disappointed with the outcome but I guess we are going to rationalize it to ourselves in the fact that we thought that we played real well and the game could have gone either way,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “I thought this was our best game all year from start to finish. I thought that we are playing against a high-caliber hockey club and we played a solid game and it was real good for the fans.”
Stars goaltender Andrew Raycroft, making his second start of the season, was sharp in the net for the Stars, who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
“I don’t think there are a lot of things in our game that we can complain about besides finishing,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “Razor (Andrew Raycroft) gave us a solid effort. We sure would have liked to have got him the win. He was battling hard for us, but sometimes the puck just doesn’t go in for you. We didn’t get one tonight.”
Quick and the Kings, who have now won four straight, had a lot to do with that. Los Angeles (5-1-1) didn’t give up many quality chances and what did get on net was taken care of by Quick, who became the first goaltender in Kings franchise history to record three straight shutouts and is now riding a shutout streak of 188 minutes and 10 seconds.
“Obviously I do feel good, but we have guys battling in all areas, especially in the D-zone on the boards and clearing out the front of the net,” said Quick. “They’re clearing out rebounds and doing their job, which makes my job even easier.”
But it was no easy night for the Kings, who had all they could handle in the Stars, who are now 6-2-0 on the season. Dallas was just as tough to crack in the defensive end, giving up few quality scoring chances.
“That was probably our best game we’ve played, back-to-back, on the road and in a tough building,” said Raycroft. “We played our game tonight. We stayed disciplined and really didn’t give up much.”
The game was fast paced and physical. The Stars made a strong push early in the third and almost took the lead, but a Michael Ryder shot from the left circle rang off the post.
The Kings’ game-winner came off an offensive zone faceoff. After center Mike Richards won the draw from Steve Ott, Rob Scuderi sent the puck to Johnson, whose shot from the right point seemed to change direction just before it eluded Raycroft.
“I didn’t see it,” said Raycroft. “I didn’t see it.”
That shot turned out to be the difference in the game. It wasn’t the result the Stars wanted, but they liked the effort.
“We played the way we wanted to,” said Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski. “If we play that way the rest of the way we’ll be alright.”
*Stars captain Brenden Morrow and defenseman Adam Pardy were both cut during the game after getting hit in the face by pucks. Both continued to play in the game.
*Defenseman Mark Fistric and forwards Jake Dowell and Krys Barch were the scratches.