DALLAS – Jonathan Bernier lost all five shootouts he was involved in this season for the Manchester Monarchs in the American Hockey League.
The rookie goalie ended that personal drought on a much bigger stage.
Bernier was perfect in the shootout, Jarret Stoll scored in the sixth round, and the Los Angeles Kings claimed a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Friday night.
Bernier made sliding saves on Mike Ribeiro in the fourth round and Jamie Benn in the sixth. Mike Modano had the best chance in the shootout for the Stars, hitting the crossbar in the fifth round.
Bernier stopped 29 shots, and Fredrik Modin scored a power-play goal for the Kings.
“I had never seen him play,” Stoll said about Bernier. “He’s just very calm. I think that’s the one thing you can say about him. He doesn’t make any extra movements, he doesn’t overcommit, he technically looks very sound and it looks like he’s in good position all the time. If he keeps playing like that he’s going to be a good one.”
Bernier was playing in the fifth NHL game of his career after he was called up from Manchester on Thursday.
“I was nervous at first,” Bernier said. “With only one practice, I didn’t know the timing and stuff. I felt better once the game got going and I felt much better in the third for sure.”
Kings No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick is back in Los Angeles with his wife, Jaclyn, for the birth of their first child.
Backup Erik Ersberg hasn’t played since Feb. 11, and coach Terry Murray wanted to get a look at Bernier, who has a 26-18-5 record and 2.08 goals-against with eight shutouts for Manchester this season.
“He’s a very talented young man and he’s worked hard this year to get his game to a good level,” Murray said. “The opportunity and the preparation came together here tonight, and I really liked what I saw.”
After the first 11 attempts of the shootout, Stoll beat Marty Turco with a wrist shot for the Kings’ fifth victory in five games against the Stars this season.
The Kings improved to 85 points, tying for third-most in the West.
Turco made 27 saves as the Stars continue to chase a playoff spot. Dallas is 1-4-1 while being outscored 26-13 since the Olympic break.
Brenden Morrow scored for Dallas, which has 71 points, six out of the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.
The Stars opened a six-game homestand that will go a long way toward determining whether they make the playoffs.
Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk has said his team needs to win at least five times during that stretch at home to “stay in the mix.”
“We’re fighting for our lives,” Stars defenceman Stephane Robidas said. “It’s like Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and that’s the approach we’ve got to have every night.”
Modin, acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay on March 3, scored with five seconds left on a power play and 34.8 remaining in the first period when he deflected Dustin Brown’s pass by Turco.
Bernier stopped Dallas’ first 22 shots before Morrow tied it 1-1 off Robidas’ setup at 6:29 of the third period.
NOTES: Earlier Friday, the Kings activated RW Justin Williams off injured reserve after a 2 1/2-month absence due to a broken right ankle. Williams, who sustained the injury on Dec. 26 at Phoenix, missed 28 games. He had 24 points in 33 games before his injury. Williams was reunited on a line with C Ryan Smyth and LW Anze Kopitar. … The Kings won their 21st on the road, tying the club record set in 1980-81. … Dallas D Nicklas Grossman (back) sat out his third straight game. RW Jere Lehtinen (ribs) was back after missing the previous game (illness). … Modin has three goals in five games since joining the Kings. … The Kings are 11-2-1 in their last 14 meetings with the Stars.