Game 38; 25-9-4
LOS ANGELES – Not only were the Los Angeles Kings looking for their fourth-straight win heading into the Christmas break but Martin Jones was looking to set a record, aiming to start his career at an unprecedented 9-0-0. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
The Kings kicked off the night on a positive note as just 2:28 into the contest, Justin Williams picked up a juicy rebound and made no mistake with his team-leading 13th to put the home side out in front. Drew Doughty got the second assist on the goal. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived as just 1:20 later, Tyler Seguin scored to continue his great season with his 19th to tie the game. The goal was scored on Dallas’s first shot of the night. But the Stars weren’t done there.
Just a few minutes later, Jamie Benn came racing down the wing before backhanding his 11th past Martin Jones to give Dallas the lead. Before the first was out, however, the Kings answered as Jarret Stoll slapped his fifth past Kari Lehtonen at 16:48 to knot the game up. Justin Williams got an assists along with Trevor Lewis – his first point of the season.
In the second, the Stars regained their lead as Valeri Nichuskin capitalized on the power play with his seventh to make it 3-2 for the road side. Then, in the third, Dallas put it away as Cody Eakin scored with less than five minutes to go in regulation to give them some insurance. Shawn Horcoff then added an empty-netter to seal it and the Stars came away from Staples Center with a hard-earned pair of points.
With the loss, the Kings lose by more than two goals for the first time since October 15 (5-1 in Tampa) and the first time this season on home ice. That may not be a stat anyone wants to hear but it certainly does underline just how solid the silver-and-black have been defensively thus far.
Overall, a disappointing night for the Kings. They came out strong in the first but seemed to lag behind in their last two periods, although they did generate a few chances during the final 40 minutes. Unfortunately for them, Kari Lehtonen was on the top of his game as he stopped 30 shots en route to the victory.
As for Martin Jones, it certainly wasn’t a night to remember as he allowed four goals for the first time in his young career while making just 19 saves. To see his undefeated streak snapped is certainly disappointing but given the way he performed before Monday night, the rookie netminder certainly doesn’t have anything to hang his head about, nor do the Kings or the Kingdom.
With the Christmas break, the Kings now have a few days off before hitting the road for a few beginning on Saturday night when they make a stop in Music City to take on the Nashville Predators.