LOS ANGELES -- For the Dallas Stars, 40-something-year-olds rule. At least that was the case on Thursday.
The Los Angeles Kings dominated for most of the game, peppering the Dallas Stars with all sorts of shots, but they failed to convert on 40 chances, and the Stars made the most of the chances they had.
Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped all 40 shots by the Kings, and Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney came up with the big goals as the Stars won, 2-0, at Staples Center.
Jagr, who's 41, scored from the left faceoff circle via a backhander at 6:34 in the third period to break the scoreless game.
His shot went off Kings defenseman Drew Doughty's skate and past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick for the game winner.
Whitney, 40, then scored at 10:56, also from the left faceoff circle on a 3-on-2 break for the two-goal lead.
"They're stingers. It doesn't take much for them to sting you," said Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan. "... We don't really think about (age) anymore. They're right in with the group. They're hard-working guys.
They're both in fantastic condition. You wouldn't know it to look at them. They're in great shape. They're great athletes. It hasn't been an issue. I think some of the guys ribbed them a bit, but I'm kind of the same age as them, so I stayed away from that."
This was just the second time the Kings were shut out this season, the other game coming at Nashville.
The Kings outshot the Stars 40-21, making the loss all the more perplexing. The Stars, who had lost five of their previous six games, ended the Kings' five-game home win streak.
"Didn't cash in," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said to explain the loss. "You can say (Lehtonen) is hot, but we didn't cash in."
With a couple minutes left in the second period, Quick, who hadn't seen much action in the early going of the game, made a stop against Cody Eakin, whose point-blank shot went off Quick's left shoulder. That was Dallas' best chance in the first 40 minutes.
The Kings outshot the Stars 12-5 in the first period, but they couldn't capitalize and they failed to sneak in any of their 18 second-period goals. They were in Dallas' zone most of the first and second periods but Lehtonen stifled the Kings in the early going.
"I thought we had enough chances," said Kings winger Kyle Clifford. "We have to find a way to bury those chances."
In the scoreless first period, the Kings survived a power play at 18:07 after Dustin Brown was called for goaltender interference, knocking Lehtonen off his feet. The Stars killed the penalty. And the Kings killed their chances by not scoring early.
Despite the loss, Kings captain Dustin Brown isn't worried about the setback.
"It's just a matter of re-focusing," Brown said. "The last few years we've been good about sticking to the program or rebounding after a tough loss. A game like (Thursday), you just draw on your experiences."
And then they cashed in via their veterans, who've found a way to still play after 40.
"Probably the rule changes," Whitney said for his career
longevity. "I mean, any offensive guy who's still playing at my age is here strictly because of the rule changes. The holding and the clutching and grabbing that was part of the game before is gone. If it was still in there, you would see that old-school drafting of big mutants that were out there who would just hook and hold and muck it up. So the game itself has changed."
The 40-something-year-olds are still delivering.
Dallas is 11th in the Western Conference standings, while the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings are seeded fourth and playing for a high postseason seed.
NOTES: The Kings will visit the White House on Tuesday, following Monday's road game at Chicago. They will be honored for winning the organization's first Stanley Cup last June. ... Dallas D Stephane Robidas' was in the lineup even though he had four stitches behind his left ear after he took a puck to the helmet on Wednesday night. The shot cracked his helmet. ... Kings' rookie C Tyler Toffoli, who made his NHL debut on Monday, was a healthy scratch. ... Dallas lost to Colorado on Wednesday night and didn't arrive in Los Angeles until 2:30 a.m. ... Dallas RW Jaromir Jagr needs two more assists to reach 1,000 in his career.