Game 78; 46-27-5
LOS ANGELES — Give the Dallas Stars credit. They came out firing and played a great game. With that said, the officiating was shoddy at best as the Stars came back to edge the Los Angeles Kings by a 3-2 score, winning the rubber match between the two clubs.
In the opening period alone, the Stars fired 18 shots on Jonathan Quick and the Kings and were able to capitalize with just under three seconds remaining. While Jamie Benn fired his 41st past Quick, it did not come before Tanner Pearson blasted a top-corner shot — his 14th from Luke Schenn and Rob Scuderi — past Kari Lehtonen.
Entering the third, the Kings had just four regulation losses when going into the third with the lead. Unfortunately on this day, there would be a fifth loss. First, Patrick Eaves tied the game for Dallas and then, with just over four minutes to go in regulation, Jordie Benn cashed in on just his second of the year to give the Stars their first lead of the afternoon — one they would not relinquish.
Again, while the Stars did deserve credit for the win, it did come with some controversy.
Late in the second, while the call ultimately didn’t hurt the Kings, Drew Doughty was called for a high-sticking penalty when both he and the Dallas player’s stick went up interlocked with each other. In the third, though, it was more costly as Brayden McNabb was high-sticking near the eye, but no infraction was called. The Stars potted the game-winner just moments later. Even the objective Jim Fox showed his frustration in the broadcast booth.
With that said, the Kings will hope to bounce back on Monday night when they embark on their final two road games of the regular season, beginning in Vancouver against the Canucks.