DALLAS– The Anaheim Ducks were licking their chops last week when they saw the Los Angeles Kings upcoming schedule: Back-to-back games against the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars.
Well, the Kings silenced their rivals after scoring five goals in both games, beating both teams by a combined score of 10-to-2. For the second consecutive night, five different members of the Kings scored on Tuesday night as Los Angeles defeated Dallas 5-2.
Lightning apparently can strike twice. For the second consecutive night, the Kings scored two early first period goals, with newcomer Kris Versteeg setting the tone once again.
Versteeg scored his first goal as a King to get LA on the board last night in the team's 5-0 shutout of Chicago, and he did it again just 23 seconds into the game on Tuesday night in Dallas.
Versteeg deflected a shot from defenseman Rob Scuderi that appeared to richocet off a Dallas defender's shoulder before finding the back of the net. It was the first time the Kings scored 23 seconds into a game or faster since Dec. 14, 2013 at Ottawa when Dwight King did it.
Minutes later, Tyler Toffoli scored for the second night in a row when he ran the give-and-go to perfection with Nick Shore.
Shortly after that, Dallas scored on their first shot on goal. Alex Goligoski got a lucky bounce when his shot deflected off the skate of Alec Martinez and past goalie Jhonas Enroth for the Stars first goal.
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Anze Kopitar scored his 22nd goal of the season on a great move at the end of the first period as the Kings went into the first intermission leading 3-1.
"They have a lot of firepower," Kopitar said after the game. "We made sure to not give them opportunities off of our mistakes or sloppy play."
Milan Lucic assisted on the Kopitar goal giving him points in seven straight games.
Los Angeles opened up the second the same way they did the first when captain Dustin Brown, scored just one-minute into the period. Brown's shot trickled past Kari Lehtonen who was immediately pulled for Antti Niemi after the goal. Lehtonen allowed four goals on just 11 shots through 21 minutes in net.
Cody Eakin scored for the Stars just five minutes later, but replay showed that the goal was actually scored by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty who accidentally slapped the puck back into the right corner of the net while trying to clear. Doughty's "own goal," meant that technically, both Stars goals were scored off of Kings players.
Dallas entered the game as the No. 1 ranked offensive team in the NHL, but the LA Kings laughed at that ranking as they quickly made it 5-2 when Trevor Lewis scored on a two-on-one break with Vinny Lecavalier at the end of the third period.
The Kings victory gives them a four-point lead over their rival Anaheim, and moves them within two points of St. Louis and Dallas for the top spot in the entire Western Conference with two games in hand.
Los Angeles has scored 20 goals in their last five games, making them lethal on both offense and defense down the stretch of the NHL regular season schedule.
Players of the Night:
Kris Versteeg – Goal 0:23 in the first period.
Tyler Toffoli – Goal 5:25 in the first period.
Alex Goligoski – Goal 8:47 in the first period.
Anze Kopitar – Goal and an assist.
Dustin Brown – Goal 1:07 into the second period.
1. Keep it 100: Defenseman Rob Scuderi recorded two assists in the game, giving him 100 for his NHL career.
With an assist on Anze Kopitar’s first period goal, Rob Scuderi earned his 100th career NHL assist. — LAKingsPR (@LAKingsPR) March 16, 2016
2. Back-to-Back Like Jordan '96, '97: The Los Angeles Kings defeated two of the top teams in the Western Conference on back-to-back nights. What makes the victories even more astounding is they defeated the top offensive teams in the NHL including the reigning Stanley Cup Champions and the No. 1 offensive team in the league. They did it, not by scores of 1-0 or 2-1, but 5-0 and 5-2. WOW!
Stars and Kings tonight!!! Gonna be a good one. The best offense vs. the best defense. — K-Twizzle (@caotk) March 16, 2016
3. Stopped Cold: The Los Angeles Kings held two of the top scored in the NHL, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin without a point. The game was just the 16th of the season where neither player scored a point.
pic.twitter.com/iXxzNIsHIR — LA Kings (@LAKings) March 16, 2016
The Los Angeles Kings (42-22-5) return home to host the New York Rangers in a rematch of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final on Thursday night at Staples Center.
The Dallas Stars (41-21-9) will host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday at 5:30PM PST.