Series (Game 3 of 5)

Dallas leads 3-2

Game 1: Saturday, November 23rd
Game 2: Wednesday, December 11th
Game 3: Saturday, January 4th
Game 4: Tuesday, January 7th
Game 5: Sunday, February 9th

Stars 3

(22-10-1, 54 pts)

Kings 2

(16-16-3, 39 pts)

10:30 PM ET, January 4, 2003

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California

1 2 3 T
DAL 0 1 23
LA 1 1 02

M. Modano (Stars - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Z. Palffy (Kings - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

J. Lehtinen (Stars - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Hatcher, Lehtinen score key third-period goals

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Dallas Stars were determined not to be shut out by the Los Angeles Kings for a fourth straight time -- something that has happened to only four teams in NHL history.

Bill Guerin

Bill Guerin ended the frustration with a power-play goal in the second period as the Stars extended their unbeaten streak to five games with a 3-2 victory Saturday night.

Derian Hatcher and Jere Lehtinen scored the tying and go-ahead goals less than six minutes apart in the third.

The Stars had 97 shots on net during their scoreless drought against the Kings and were 0-for-13 on the power play -- until Guerin's 18th goal ended the skid at 207 minutes, 40 seconds, dating to Brendan Morrow's overtime goal against Felix Potvin on March 6.

"Eventually, I knew we'd get one. I didn't think we'd go the whole year without scoring a goal against them,'' said Mike Modano, who assisted on Dallas' first and last goals. "It was just a matter of time. We stuck with our game plan and had a great third period.''

The Stars began the second half of their schedule with their third straight victory and increased their lead in the Pacific Division to 15 points over Los Angeles and Anaheim.

Mathieu Schneider had a power-play goal, and Lubomir Visnovsky also scored for the Kings, who have lost four straight. Ziggy Palffy had two assists, including his 300th in the NHL.

Jamie Storr, who made 35 saves in 3-0 victory at Dallas on Dec. 11, stopped 26 shots in his ninth start of the season. It's the first time he has started consecutive games since a five-game stretch in November 2001.

Hatcher tied it with 16:56 to play, beating Storr with a screened wrist shot from just inside the blue line after Jason Arnott won the faceoff from rookie Jerred Smithson.

Lehtinen gave the Stars their only lead with 11:17 left, sending a one-timer past Storr's glove from the middle of the left circle after Modano backhanded the puck to him.

"We knew it would be a battle right to the end of the game,'' Kings coach Andy Murray said. "We had the lead, and I thought we played quite well. Dallas obviously turned its game up in the third period and we didn't respond at the level we needed to. We made a couple of mistakes that resulted in goals.''

With 15 goals and 27 assists, Modano is off to his best start since 1993-94, when he had a career-high 93 points.

"He really came into this season with something to prove,'' coach Dave Tippett said. "The guys who were here last year were real focused on getting this thing turned around. Mike has really taken that bull by the horns and said, `We're going to be a good team this year -- and hopefully a great team.' And he's certainly doing his part.''

The Kings, who have eight forwards out because of injuries, had to rely on defensemen for both of their goals.

Visnovsky took a drop pass from Palffy about 10 feet inside the blue line and beat Ron Tugnutt to the glove side with a one-timer at 11:37 of the second period for a 2-1 lead. It was Visnovsky's fifth goal, one more than he had in 72 games last season.

Kings rookie Michael Cammalleri was off for hooking Morrow when Modano got the puck in the left circle from Sergei Zubov, veered toward the slot and backhanded the puck to Guerin all alone at the left of the net at 7:40 of the second period to tie the score at 1-all.

"I have a good feel where Jere and Bill like to go and where they like to shoot the puck from,'' Modano said. "Being a center, I had a lot of time on my backhand, and those guys made great shots.''

Los Angeles, 2-for-28 on the power play over its previous seven games, opened the scoring during a 5-on-3 advantage after Philippe Boucher was sent off for holding, and Richard Matvichuk for high-sticking 47 seconds later.

Game notes

The Kings, who entered the NHL in 1967-68, have never shut out an opponent four straight times. It's happened only twice since 1928. The last team to accomplish that feat was the New York Islanders, against Tampa Bay on Oct. 14, 1998. ... The Kings assigned C Chris Schmidt to Manchester of the AHL and activated RW Steve Heinze -- leaving "only'' seven players on the injured list. Heinze missed nine games because of post-concussion symptoms.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press