LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings blew a 2-to-1 lead in the third period allowing two Dallas goals as the Stars avoided the season sweep with a 3-2 victory on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.
Tanner Pearson opened up the scoring late in the first period when his slapshot from just in front of the blue line sailed over the shoulder of Stars goalie, Kari Lehtonen.
The lead would be short-lived as Jamie Benn answered a minute later on the power play with his 41st goal of the season.
Los Angeles got a bit of luck in the second period when Tyler Toffoli found a wide-open Jeff Carter in front of the net. Carter, flubbed the pass however, unable to get his stick solidly on the puck. The lack of mustard on the shot surprised Lehtonen who misplayed the puck which squirted past him for the King's second goal.
The Stars tied it up in the third and final period when Patrick Eaves cleaned up in front of the net and the game was tied at 2-2.
The Kings completed their third period collapse when Jordie Benn (older brother of Jamie) scored the game-winning goal with just under five minutes remaining in the game.
"I think being up one in the third is something that we liked, but giving up two goals and one going through me at the end, that was the winner," said Pearson of the team's final period performance. "We just have to play hard for 60 minutes."
The Stars avoid the three-game season sweep, and stay ahead of the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division.
Meanwhile, the Kings blew not only the game, but a golden opportunity to put some space between themselves and the rival Anaheim Ducks. LA leads by just one point with the Ducks playing Dallas tomorrow.
"I don't think we care about who we play," said defenseman Rob Scuderi. "I think we're worried about how we play. I think that's important this time of year."
Players of the Night:
Jeff Carter: Goal.
Tanner Pearson: Goal.
Jamie Benn: Goal.
Jordie Benn: Game-winning goal.
1. Stars Avoid Sweep: Los Angeles was looking to sweep the three-game series with Dallas this season with a win at home on Saturday. But the Benn Brothers had other ideas in mind for the Pacific Division leaders.
2. The Brothers Benn: The Brothers Benn brought sadness to Staples Center as relatives, Jordie and Jamie Benn both scored for the Stars on Saturday. For older brother, Jordie, it was his first ever career game-winning goal. While for younger brother, Jamie, it was just another day at the office as he scored his 40th goal of the season.
3. I shot the Sheriff, but I did not shoot the Deputy: The Los Angeles Kings were outshot 39-to-26, uncharacteristic of a Kings team that usually outshoots their opponents. Despite the lopsided statistic, LA had a 2-1 lead through the first five minutes of the third period.
The Dallas Stars (48-22-9) will have their hands full when they travel up the 5 freeway to take on the Anaheim Ducks tomorrow, Sunday, at 6:00PM PST.
The Los Angeles Kings (46-27-5) will travel to Vancouver to tackle the Canucks on Monday at 7:00PM PST.
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