The Los Angeles Kings managed a successful road trip despite a sputtering offense, instead relying on strong goaltending. They may need more than just that against a Dallas Stars team coming off a win over a previously unbeaten opponent.
Los Angeles seeks better offensive production and its fifth win in six games Saturday night against the visiting Stars.
The Kings (5-3-0) totaled six goals while winning three of four on their trip, needing shootouts for two victories. A 3-0 win over Florida on Sunday was the only game in which they scored more than once.
They found the back of the net on five of 16 power-play chances in their first four games, then went scoreless in 13 opportunities over the next four.
Jonathan Quick made 34 saves and denied all three of Nashville’s shootout attempts to bail out Los Angeles in a 2-1 victory Thursday. Quick hasn’t been scored on in three shootouts this season, denying all eight tries against him.
“It is kind of a crapshoot to be honest,” Quick said. “We’re fortunate, so far it has gone our way this year so far. At the end of the day we got two points in a tough building against a conference opponent.”
New acquisition Ben Scrivens also supplied a nice option behind Quick, stopping 20 shots against the Panthers in his only start.
Quick has been mediocre in his last eight matchups with Dallas, going 3-3-2 with a 3.18 goals-against average.
With eight of their next nine games coming at home, the Kings would like to get going their offense going, particularly Anze Kopitar. While he’s tied for the team lead in assists with five and scored in Thursday’s shootout, he has no goals despite 18 shots and hasn’t recorded a point in his last two games. He’s scored once in his last 18 matchups with Dallas.
Mike Richards, who also has five assists but is without a goal, has totaled 19 points in 17 career games against the Stars (3-3-0).
Dallas has also struggled offensively with three total goals in road losses to Minnesota and Colorado, but the Stars handed San Jose its first defeat with a 4-3 shootout victory Thursday.
Unlike in a 5-1 defeat against the Wild last Saturday, when Dallas trailed 1-0 just 12 seconds in, the Stars were able to dig themselves out of another lightning-quick hole. San Jose’s Tyler Kennedy scored 9 seconds in on Dan Ellis.
The Stars erased three one-goal deficits to force the shootout, and rookie Alex Chiasson was the lone scorer in the tiebreaker.
“This is great for us,” said Chiasson, the team leader with four goals. “We’ve been playing up and down throughout the year. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going into this weekend.”
Dallas may have to call on Ellis again with Kari Lehtonen still dealing with a lower-body injury.
The Stars had won four straight in Los Angeles prior to a 4-3 overtime loss April 21. Dustin Brown - who has only two points in eight games this year - scored twice, while Jeff Carter had one goal and two assists.