Stars hand Kings' Jones 1st NHL loss after 8 wins
- Article by: JOE RESNICK
- Associated Press
- December 24, 2013 - 10:59 PM
LOS ANGELES — Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn scored on Dallas' first two shots against the unbeaten Martin Jones and rookie linemate Valeri Nichushkin got the go-ahead goal on a power play in the second period, leading the Stars to a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.
Cody Eakin scored an insurance goal with 4:48 remaining against Jones, who stopped 19 shots in his first NHL loss.
Shawn Horcuff was credited with an empty-net goal after he was tripped from behind by Drew Doughty in the Kings zone. Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves to record his league-leading 12th road victory, sending the Kings to their second loss in 11 games and just their third in regulation over the last 23.
Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll scored first-period goals for Los Angeles. The Kings played without captain Dustin Brown, who missed his first game of the season due to an illness.
Jones, who tied Bob Froese's 31-year-old NHL record on Saturday by winning for the eighth time in his first eight NHL games, was going after Ray Emery's mark of nine straight winning decisions from the start of a career.
But the game began inauspiciously for the Kings' 23-year-old goalie, as Seguin beat him high to the stick side from the low slot for the tying goal after getting a cross-ice pass from Benn.
Less than 2 1-2 minutes later, Benn put Dallas ahead when he carried the puck into the Kings zone and beat Jones to the short side with a backhander over his left shoulder from deep in the right circle. Seguin's 19th goal and Benn's 11th ended a streak of 11 straight home games in which the Kings had shut out their opponents in the first period.
Los Angeles held Dallas to just two more shots on net before Stoll tied it at 16:48 of the period with his fifth goal. Referee Mike Leggo had his arm raised to call a delayed penalty for hooking against Alex Goligoski, when Williams' pass caromed off the skate of Dallas' Antoine Roussel and Stoll whipped a 30-foot slap shot between Lehtonen's pads.
But Nichushkin put Dallas ahead to stay at 5:07 of the second with his seventh goal, beating Jones to the glove side with a one-timer from the right circle after getting a cross-ice feed from Seguin. It came while Stoll was serving an interference penalty. The Stars were just 5 for 50 on the power play in their previous 14 games.
Dallas' top line of Benn, Seguin and Nichushkin has accounted for 15 goals and 29 points in its last nine games. This was the second time this season that each of them scored in the same game. It also occurred on Dec. 14 in a 6-4 victory at Winnipeg.
Williams opened the scoring at 2:28 with the teams skating 4-on-4. He converted a rebound of Anze Kopitar's 40-foot wrist shot from the slot, beating Lehtonen with a backhander.
Dallas defenseman Sergei Gonchar was scratched for the first time this season because of concussion-like symptoms, after getting injured in Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss at San Jose.
NOTES: Jones, who has been filling in for the injured Jonathan Quick, came within one victory of tying Quick's franchise record for consecutive wins. ... Jones had allowed only eight goals on 234 shots in his other eight games. ... Despite the loss, the Kings are 9-2-0 this month. Their previous high for wins in December was eight, accomplished seven times. ... The Stars get a three-day Christmas break before facing Nashville on Friday in the opener of a five-game homestand, which includes a rematch with the Kings on New Year's Eve. ... Seguin has 13 goals and 21 points in his last 18 games. ... Jones had allowed fewer than three goals in each of his first eight games, the longest such streak by a starting rookie goalie since Frankie Brimsek's 12-game stretch in 1938-39 with Boston.
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