DALLAS – Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings got the bounce-back game they were looking for.
Quick made 30 saves, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Wayne Simmonds scored nine seconds apart in the second period, and the Kings beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 on Thursday night.
Dustin Brown added a power-play goal, Willie Mitchell scored short-handed, and Jack Johnson had three assists to help the Kings rebound from a 3-1 loss at Chicago on Wednesday night.
“You’re playing a division game, you get in at 3 in the morning, you’ve got a team sitting here fresh, I thought the guys worked very hard to get themselves ready to play,” coach Terry Murray said. “We were doing all the right things.”
Justin Williams added an empty-netter with 1:41 left.
Quick, 4-1 for his career in Texas, made an outstanding pad save on Mike Ribeiro at 13:11 of the second period, and robbed Jamie Benn with a little over four minutes left in the period.
“Our team seems to come to play when we’ve been here,” Quick said. “(The Stars) took a lot of shots from the perimeter, that might pad the numbers a little. It’s just team success. The team played well tonight. To come back after a loss, it shows the character in the locker room.”
Johnson’s stepped up in the absence of No. 1 defenceman Drew Doughty, out with a concussion. There’s no timetable for Doughty’s return.
Johnson has six assists in the five games Doughty has missed.
“I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time,” Johnson said. “We want to get Drew back as soon as possible, but we don’t want to rush him with an injury like that. He’s a huge part of this team, but I also have a lot to offer to help this team win.”
The Kings finished 3-2 on their trip, and have won four straight in Texas while outscoring the Stars 16-5.
Brad Richards struck on the power play and Brandon Segal also scored for Dallas. The Stars have only four goals in their last three games.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 11 of 15 shots before being sent to the bench in the third period as the Stars lost for the fourth time in five games, including the first three of a season-high six-game homestand.
Ponikarovsky broke a 1-all tie off a rebound at 13:05 of the second period, and Simmonds made it 3-1 at 13:14.
Simmonds, who assisted on Ponikarovsky’s goal, went in on a breakaway, crashing into Lehtonen as he scored and knocking the net off its moorings. Lehtonen insisted the goal shouldn’t have counted.
But after a video review, the goal stood because officials ruled the puck entered the net before it was dislodged.
“It’s the kind of goal I’d be mad if we scored it and they took it away,” Lehtonen said. “But they counted it and I was mad because he pushed me and the puck into the net.”
When Mitchell scored short-handed at 4:40 of the third period to make it 4-1, Stars coach Marc Crawford hooked Lehtonen and brought in Andrew Raycroft for his first action of the season.
“What I don’t like is we beat ourselves,” Crawford said. “You can’t take a shift off in this league. If we think we can outskill teams, we’re sadly mistaken.”
Segal’s even-strength goal at 10:10 of the third period pulled Dallas to 4-2.
The Kings capitalized 11 seconds into a 5-on-3 advantage on Brown’s close-range goal at 3:30 of the opening period.
The Stars took advantage of a 5 on 3 of their own at 16:03 of the first period when Richards’ shot from the left point got past a screened Quick to tie it at 1.
NOTES: Simmonds left in the third period because of a lower-body injury. … Stars rookie D Philip Larsen made his season debut and got his second career assist. Larsen was brought up from Texas of the AHL to fill in for Stephane Robidas, serving an automatic one-game league suspension after drawing his second boarding major in 41 games Tuesday night in a loss to Anaheim. Larsen, who played two games for Dallas last season, was on the top defensive pairing with Nicklas Grossman. … The crowd was announced at 11,306, smallest since the Stars moved to Dallas in 1993, and there were really only about 5,000 in the building. Many fans stayed home to watch on TV asthe Texas Rangers played Game 2 of the World Series.