Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Resilient Stars wrap up stellar trip with win
By Mark Stepneski
The Dallas Stars rolled out a familiar formula in wrapping up a great road trip Monday, pulling off another third period rally to beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 in overtime at Staples Center.
The Stars tied the game on a shorthanded goal by Jamie Benn early in the third period and then Brenden Morrow won it just 38 seconds into the extra period.
It was their league-best ninth win when trailing after two periods and gave them a 3-0-1 record on the four-game trip against their four Pacific Division rivals. With the two points they picked up Monday night the Stars moved into fifth place in the Western Conference and increased their lead over ninth place to four points.
“It was huge,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “At the end of the road trip sometimes you get excited about getting back home – and we’ve got seven in row at home - so it’s huge for us to get that two points.”
Brenden Morrow scored the game-winning goal in overtime vs. the L.A. Kings on Monday night. "It was huge," Morrow said.
The Stars showed a lot of resiliency throughout the game, overcoming 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 deficits. Twice after the Stars scored to tie the game, the Kings bounced back to take the lead less than a minute later in the game.
When Mike Ribeiro scored to tie it at 1-1 in the second, the Kings scored 35 seconds later to make it 2-1. When Trevor Daley scored 1:57 into the third period to make it 2-2, the Kings made it 3-2 just 44 seconds later.
“This group has been good about [handling] that all year,” said Morrow. “In past years that was something we weren’t tough enough to mentally overcome, but now we just wipe those things away and try to steal the momentum the next shift, guys get us some big goals and that Benner shorthanded goal was huge for us.”
That Benn shorthanded goal was a huge turning point. Less than 90 seconds after taking a 3-2 lead, the Kings went on a power play with a chance to extend the lead. But Benn stole the puck from Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty at the Dallas blue line, broke in on the Kings net and beat goalie Jonathan Bernier with a backhand shot at the 5:20 mark.
“Knocked it out of the air and it just kind of stuck with me,” Benn said of the steal. “I went down and made my move.”
In overtime Ribeiro, who had one goal and two assists in the game, skated into the slot with the puck and then Morrow got the puck and whipped it past Bernier for the game-winner just 38 seconds into the extra period.
“It was a pretty slow developing play. I’m not sure if [Ribeiro] passed it to me or if I stole it from him, but I just chipped it back to myself and I found a hole. It wasn’t real hard, it was just a quick shot and I don’t think [Bernier] had time to get set.”
The Kings, who fell to 1-2-1 in their last four games, remain in eighth place in the Western Conference standings.
"The one-goal lead going into the third gave us a good position over a team in our division," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "We should be able to shut that game down. We didn't manage the puck. We made mistakes and turned the puck over. That's something we need to clean up right away."
The Kings and Stars play again in Dallas on Sunday.
Ott tossed out of game after spearing call
Stars forward Steve Ott was tossed out of Monday’s game late in the first period after he was assessed a spearing major and a game misconduct. The incident happed during a scrum with 2:17 left in the first period.
After the game, Stars coach Marc Crawford said he didn’t believe Ott would face any other kind of discipline as a result of the incident.
“I would be awfully surprised if he got anything for that,” Crawford said. “That was nothing, absolutely nothing. Guys get hurt more when you wipe off dandruff off your shoulder. Usually they won’t make a call like that, but I am not charged to make those calls.
“On the other side of it, it was a tough call at the time because you take away a very good player for us on a very marginal call. He was fending off four or five of the Los Angeles Kings. I doubt there would be anything that would come of that, but who am I?”
Richards, Grossman out
Stars center Brad Richards (concussion-like symptoms) and Nicklas Grossman (hip) were both out for Monday’s game. Both players have missed the last ten games with their injuries.
Right wing Jamie Langenbrunner, who missed Saturday’s game with an upper body injury, returned to action Monday night.