Nolan & King Lead Kings Past Stars 4-2
DALLAS (AP) – The Los Angeles Kings got some much-needed scoring from a pair of unlikely sources.
Jordan Nolan and Dwight King each had their first career goal and the Kings beat the Dallas Stars 4-2 on Sunday night in a matchup of Western Conference playoff contenders.
Andrei Loktionov contributed a power-play goal for the Kings, his second goal of the season and the sixth of his career.
With the game tied at 2, Nolan skated hard to the net and fired Mike Richards’ centering pass by Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen at 11:29 of the third period.
Nolan and King were both called up from Manchester of the AHL on Friday. Nolan was playing in his second NHL game, King his eighth.
“It was pretty special for me and King to get our first one tonight,” said Nolan, whose father, Ted, is a former NHL coach now in charge of the Latvian national team. “We’re trying to work the hardest, trying to stay in the lineup.”
Jonathan Quick stopped 26 shots and Anze Kopitar added two assists for the Kings, who completed a 2-3-1 road trip.
Justin Williams added an empty-netter with 2.1 seconds left for the Kings, who managed only six goals in the first five games of the trip. The Kings are last in the NHL with 124 goals.
“We’ve struggled to score goals, obviously, so four is quite an accomplishment,” Williams said. “This was a four-point game against a team right behind us in the standings. Everything seems so important at this time of the season.”
Loui Eriksson and Michael Ryder scored for the Stars. Alex Goligoski had two assists.
Los Angeles improved to 65 points, tied with Chicago for sixth in the conference. Dallas is 11th in the West with 59 points.
The Kings lost 2-1 in overtime at the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Los Angeles capitalized on a turnover by Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman for the game’s first goal, with King tapping a rebound past Lehtonen at 8:54 of the opening period.
The Kings made it 2-0 at 8:21 of the second when Jack Johnson’s pass bounced into the net off Loktionov’s skate. The goal was upheld after a video review showed that Loktionov didn’t kick the puck into the net.
Dallas was guilty of seven turnovers in the first period, which set a negative tone for the home team.
“We didn’t start good, that’s for sure,” coach Glen Gulutzan said. “We gave them a goal early and had to press from behind. We should have been ready to play from the beginning. We had a couple guys not ready to go.”
Eriksson notched his 18th of the season off Goligoski’s centering pass at 13:22 of the second to pull Dallas within a goal. Eriksson broke a nine-game goal drought.
Ryder’s wrister from the slot for his team-best 21st of the season drew Dallas even at 2 at 4:37 of the third.
But there was calm on the Kings bench even after wasting the two-goal lead.
“There wasn’t any panic,” Williams said. “We were relaxed, in good shape, and we got two big goals from a couple of kids.
They bring excitement and everyone feeds off of that. They’ve played great the last two games, given us a lot of spunk and a new look.”
NOTES: LW Brenden Morrow (neck, shoulder) and D Sheldon Souray (foot) are out for Dallas. … The Kings are without C Jarret Stoll (lower body), LW Simon Gagne (concussion) and LW Scott Parse (hip). … The teams played for the final time this season, with the Kings going 3-1-2.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)