Thursday, January 12, 2012
Kings: Kopitar, Lewis score but L.A. still trails, 3-2
By Dan Arritt
After the second period:
Dallas Stars 3, Kings 2
The good: The Kings had another one those rare occurrences the last 20 minutes, scoring two goals in a period for the second consecutive game. In fact, they’ve scored two goals in three of the last five periods. The Kings got one on the power play for the second consecutive game as well, cutting the Dallas lead to 2-1. Kings defenseman Jack Johnson let go of a crisp slap shot with three seconds on the penalty and Anze Kopitar deflected the puck past Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen with the touch of a diamond cutter. The most overdue player on the Kings scored their second goal to cut the deficit back to one. Trevor Lewis had not scored since the final playoff game last season against San Jose. Lewis, who turned 25 on Sunday, pounced on the puck after Dallas defenseman Nicklas Grossman failed to catch it while it fluttered through the air near his own blue line. Lewis showed great hands while faking Lehtonen out of his skates and leaving him sprawled on the ice while getting beat on the forehand with 9:22 left in the second. The Kings killed their 39th consecutive penalty in the period, leaving them seven shy of the club record set in 2001-02. They also have 30 shots on goal so far, putting them on pace to break their season high of 44. Kyle Clifford has a team-high six hits for the Kings.
The bad: The Stars scored another goal after it appeared they got away with a penalty. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was slashed across the shins by Dallas winger Michael Ryder as he cut through the high slot, falling face first and losing the puck to Brenden Morrow. Ryder then took a pass from Morrow as he rushed forward and then spotted Alex Goligoski cutting through the middle. Goligoski received the pass on his stick and shot it past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick for a 3-1 lead. Doughty slammed his stick into the ice and had a few words for the officials afterward. Kings forward Brad Richardson has three giveaways and a goalie interference penalty on the night.
The in between: If the Kings are going to earn any points tonight, they’ll need to accomplish something they’ve never done this season, score at least three goals in regulation in two consecutive games. They’re coming off a 5-2 win Monday night against the visiting Capitals.