After defeating the San Jose Sharks in a 4-3 shootout win in their previous game, the Dallas Stars traveled to Southern California to play against
old friends former Pacific Division rivals, with their first game against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings are one of the best puck possession teams in the NHL, and they manhandled the Stars in this game. Combine the fact my USC Trojans lost to the insufferable Notre Dame Fighting Irish on the same day, I was pretty miserable watching the Stars lose this game immediately afterwards. It was a terrible sports day.
Alright, enough with this depressing anecdote.
Tyler Seguin’s Nifty Deflection
This is a nice give-and-go between Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, and Seguin finishes the play by deflecting Benn’s shot through Jonathan Quick‘s legs.
Rich Peverley feeds the puck to Seguin despite the pressure from Anze Kopitar.
Seguin carries the puck through center ice, and Kyle Clifford trails behind him.
Jamie Benn now joins the play from the bench, and Seguin passes him the puck and charges to the net.
Jamie’s options are limited. It’s risky to pass to Trevor Daley at the point because he’s covered by Justin Williams and Clifford, and getting the puck to Peverley is completely out of the question.
Jamie holds onto the puck, and the Kings give him plenty of space to work with.
As the Kings collapse toward the slot, Willie Mitchell switches his attention from Seguin to Jamie, and Seguin heads right for the net.
Unfortunately for Mitchell, nobody on his team goes to cover Seguin, and Jamie fires a shot at the net.
Jamie’s shot goes over Mitchell’s stick, and Seguin bats the puck down between Quick’s pads. The Stars grab an early 1-0 lead.
Justin Williams’ Skate Goal
If there is one thing the Kings are really good at, it’s scoring ugly goals. This goal by Justin Williams is no exception, and a late-period goal like this can be demoralizing.
Dallas Stars fan-favorite Dustin Brown starts the cycle for the Kings near the left-wing corner. He will drop the puck behind him to Anze Kopitar.
Jumping into the play is defenseman Jake Muzzin, and Kopitar feeds him the puck along the boards.
Muzzin continues the cycle, and he has a lot of room to work with. Meanwhile, Brenden Dillon is battling in front of the net with Williams.
Stephane Robidas and Cody Eakin converge towards the corner where Muzzin is.
Muzzin throws the puck at the net from a severe angle. Neither Robidas, Eakin, nor Dan Ellis cut off the pass.
The puck goes in off Williams’ left skate, and this game is tied.
Justin Williams’ Power Play Goal
Oh, look. The Stars gave up another late-period goal to trail, and damn it, Justin Williams scored again. How did that happen?
Drew Doughty begins the sequence by sending the puck back to Jake Muzzin at the point.
Muzzin skates it toward the high slot and fires a shot at the net.
Vernon Fiddler blocks the shot, but it ricochets to Doughty in the faceoff circle.
Doughty picks up the loose puck. Meanwhile, the Stars box has completely collapsed.
Doughty centers the puck towards Anze Kopitar in the slot, but he cannot get a clean shot off…
…because Fiddler ties up his stick.
Kopitar again tries to shoot it, but Jordie Benn is in his way. Unfortunately for the Stars, nobody is covering Williams.
The puck finds Williams, and Dan Ellis is completely out of position.
Williams practically has an empty net to shoot in, and he doesn’t miss. 2-1 Kings.
Mike Richards’ Breakaway Attempt
Was this just a really bad pass by Jordie Benn, or great hand-eye coordination by Mike Richards?
The edge here goes to Richards. He read this pass beautifully, batted it down in mid-air, and nearly scored on the breakaway. The Stars dodged a bullet.
Rich Peverley’s Game-Tying Goal
People should not forget that Rich Peverley is another key piece of the Tyler Seguin trade.
Jamie Benn wins the faceoff, and Seguin knocks the puck back to the point.
Brenden Dillon attempts a shot from the point, but the Kings deflect it out of harm’s way.
The puck rolls past Drew Doughty in the left faceoff circle before he has any time to react, so he stays put. The puck will go to the corner.
Benn beats Jeff Carter to the puck behind the goal line.
Benn skates around the net and looks to see if a centering pass is attainable. Peverley is covered by three Kings, and it is highly unlikely a pass will reach Tyler Seguin in the high slot.
Benn then shoots a wraparound on Jonathan Quick despite the pressure from Carter. Robyn Regehr tries to lift Peverley’s stick as they go to the net for the rebound.
However, Peverley beats Regehr to the rebound, and he ties the game on a layup.
Drew Doughty Psyches Out Dan Ellis
Do I have to break this one down? Yes? Fine.
Stars-killer Justin Williams carries the puck along the left wing boards. He will carry it all the way to the left point.
From here, Williams catches all the Stars watching the puck, and nobody realizes Drew Doughty is heading to the net. There is also a wide passing lane for Williams to get the puck to Doughty, and he does.
From here, Doughty does the rest. (At least Brenden Dillon is boxing out Kyle Clifford?)
Dan Ellis goes for the pokecheck, and misses, and Doughty sneaks it in through the five-hole.
Now that I’ve seen this replay over 200 times, this is great patience by Doughty. That does not make me feel less awful about Ellis surrendering this goal.
Kyle Clifford’s Dagger Goal
Oh man. This goal sealed the game. I’m not even sure what Alex Goligoski was doing on this play, but, how Kyle Clifford’s shot from the point beat Dan Ellis?
Even in slow-motion, it’s hard to tell what about this shot fooled Ellis.
From this still, it looks like Sergei Gonchar deflects Clifford’s shot.
The puck is fluttering in this still, and…
…based on watching Ellis raise his glove hand before his right shoulder, it appears Ellis did not expect the shot to go to his blocker side.
Matt Greene’s Empty Net Goal
Yeah, Matt Greene scored from there.
This was not the Stars’ day. This was not my day, either.
This was a horrible sports day. Let’s do that again, never.