LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brendan Morrison knows the Stars’ playoff
hopes are slim. That doesn’t mean he won’t try to change their
fortune with only five games left.
Morrison scored two power-play goals, Marty Turco stopped 26
shots, and Dallas snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating
the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2, on Tuesday night.
The Stars are 12th in the Western Conference, and are a long
shot to make the playoffs. They are six points out of eighth
place and the postseason cutoff.
“I think we pretty much have to win out if we want a chance. But
who knows what can happen,” Morrison said. “We just want to play
solid hockey right until the end.”
Jack Johnson and Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings, who are far
out of the playoff picture.
Dallas’ skid was three games short of the franchise record. The
Stars haven’t lost eight in a row since November 11-29, 1978,
when the franchise was in Minnesota.
Mike Ribeiro also scored for Dallas, which has qualified for the
playoffs in five straight seasons.
“It’s nice to get a win,” Morrison said. “It’s been frustrating
the last couple of weeks. It’s been a tough year.
“You don’t want to ever mail anything in. Respect your teammates
and go out and work hard and see what happens. I think this
group has been taxed for a while. We’ve had to deal with a lot
of adversity this year with injury, etc. I’m not pointing the
finger at exactly that’s why we haven’t had the outcomes we’ve
wanted lately. We’ve played good enough in games to get wins,
but at crucial times we have made errors that have cost us.”
They didn’t make many against the Kings.
Turco returned to the net after sitting out Monday’s overtime
loss to Phoenix and held off the Kings, who have lost 14 of 20
and went 0-for-2 on the power play.
“I thought both goals were soft, but I thought our team played
really well,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “He made a couple
of key saves at key times — that penalty kill in the second
period. We didn’t do it all, but we did enough to win. That was
one of our better puck play games in a while and we defended
Morrison helped Dallas regain the lead at 1:55 of the second
period with his first goal. With Kyle Calder off for holding,
Morrison scored on a one-timer to give the Stars the 2-1 lead.
He struck again at 14:41 when Matt Niskanen found him just above
the left faceoff dot. Morrison’s shot went in off the post, and
goalie Jonathan Quick barely moved before realizing that the
puck was past him.
The Kings looked sluggish after returning home following a 2-3-1
“When you come off a long road trip, it always seems that you
have a tough time getting into it in the first game at home,”
Kings forward Justin Williams said. “But at this level of the
game, it’s unacceptable for us to have a performance like that.
It’s ugly, it stinks, and it won’t happen again.”
Johnson scored with a wrist shot toward the end of the first,
making it 1-1. Brad Richardson won a faceoff back to Johnson,
who beat Turco to the upper right corner of the net with 2:02
Ribeiro had given Dallas a 1-0 lead with his 21st goal of the
season three minutes earlier.
Kopitar’s goal came at 18:29 of the third period, but it was too
“We didn’t do enough in the offensive zone at all,” Kings coach
Terry Murray said. “We turned the puck over too often in the
early part of the game, and we were not getting any kind of
forecheck established whatsoever. The traffic in front of the
net was minimal at best. We didn’t play the right way.”
The Kings, 26th in the league in scoring, were without Alexander
Frolov (lower body), who missed his fourth straight game, and
Jarret Stoll and Kyle Quincey, who are out for the season.