Stars score all of their goals on power plays, top stumbling Kings 4-1

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stars beat Kings 4-1 with 4 power-play goals

LOS ANGELES — Brad Richards scored two power-play goals less than 5 minutes apart in the second period, Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott also connected during man-advantages, and the Dallas Stars avoided a six-game sweep by the Los Angeles Kings with a 4-1 victory on Saturday night.

Mike Ribeiro and Stephane Robidas each had two assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves in his sixth start with Dallas since being acquired from Atlanta.

Richards’ 17th career multi-goal effort, along with an assist on Ott’s goal, gave him 85 points.

The Kings, vying for their first postseason berth since 2002, lost their third straight and are 5-6-2 since the Olympic break. Los Angeles is eighth in the Western Conference with a seven-point lead over Calgary and eight games remaining.

The four power play goals were a season high for Dallas and equaled the most allowed by Los Angeles.

Michal Handzus opened the scoring at 15:52 of the first period on a rebound of Anze Kopitar’s shot. But staggered penalties to Wayne Simmonds and Kings teammate Sean O’Donnell during the final 47 seconds of the period gave Dallas a two-man advantage that led to the tying goal by Morrow 17 seconds into the second period.

The Stars have scored five goals with a two-man advantage this season, but haven’t allowed any in 11 5-on-3s against them.

Richards made it 2-1 when his intended centering pass to Steve Ott from the left circle caromed off defenseman Rob Scuderi’s right skate and into the net while Jarret Stoll was off for high-sticking at 4:20.

The Stars, 1 for 20 on the power play in their other five meetings with the Kings, connected again at 9:15 of the second during 4-on-3 advantage — 10 seconds after defenseman Drew Doughty was sent off for tripping.

Richards fired wide on a one-timer from the slot, and the puck caromed to Robidas at the left boards, Robidas sent the puck back to Richards for another long one-timer that beat Quick for a 3-1 lead.

Ryan Smyth got an interference penalty with 35 seconds left in the second period, and the Stars again cashed in. Just 48 seconds into the third, Ott converted a rebound of James Neal’s one-timer from the right circle for his 16th goal.

NOTES: Dallas is the only NHL team that hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games this season. They had a five-game streak last season from Jan. 31 through Feb. 3. … The Stars will miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1987 and 1988, when the franchise was based in Minnesota. … The Stars haven’t gone an entire season without beating the Kings since 1995-96, when all four games ended in ties. … Kopitar has a team-high 75 points. The last Kings player to finish a season with more than 80 points was Ziggy Palffy, who had 85 in 2002-03.

will not be displayed