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Kings Power-less Against Stars

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The Kings power-play was awful.

“They were +1 on our power-play,” forward Justin Williams said about the Dallas Stars. “We need to refocus, readjust especially on the power-play.”

That +1 was the shorthanded burst from Jamie Benn stealing Drew Doughty’s pass to Jarret Stoll, taking it down the ice and shooting it past goaltender Jonathan Bernier at 5:20 in the third period to tie the game at 3-3.

What had been a pretty listless game by the Stars up to that point helped turn the tide to lead them to a 4-3 overtime win over the Kings.

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“You’re going into the third period in a pretty good position against a division team,” head coach Terry Murray said about the one-goal lead the Kings had after two periods. “You should be able to shut that game down.”

But the game should have been shut down before the third period.

After the rare scoring defenseman Willie Mitchell kicked off the scoring at 8:39 in the first period to give the Kings the 1-0 lead, the Kings spent all but 17 seconds of the first five minutes of the second period with the man advantage. While they managed five shots-on-goal they also allowed two shots to Dallas.

“We’re trying to do too much,” Anze Kopitar said. “We’re trying to find that perfect play instead of just maybe keeping it a little more simple.”

After Mike Ribeiro tied the game at 6:47 in the second period, Justin Williams took the puck down the length of the ice after a faceoff the grabbed a couple of fat rebounds before finally getting the puck past Stars goalie Keri Lehtonen at 7:22.

And right after Tervor Daley tied the game once against at 1:57 in the first period, Kyle Clifford exploded for his fifth goal of the season less than a minute later.

“Clifford looked very good,” Murray said while laughing. “He’s very confident. He’s going to keep moving up and become a good player for us.”

But after that short-handed Benn goal, it just seemed preordained that Brenden Morrow would score 38 seconds in overtime for the win.

“Not sure if [Ribeiro] passed it to me or if I stole it, but I just chipped it back to myself and it found a hole,” Morrow said about his game winner. “It wasn’t real hard, it was just a quick shot.”

The big call of the game came late in the first period when during a scrum Stars center Steve Ott was called for spearing, a five-minute major penalty that carries an automatic game misconduct.

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“It was a tough call, and at the time you take away a very good play for us and on a very marginal call after he was fending off five of the Los Angeles Kings,” Stars head coach Marc Crawford said. “I doubt that there would be anything that would come of that.”

The Kings now hop on a four-game roadie that will take them first to Detroit on Wednesday.