LOS ANGELES (AP) — After all the momentum swings, debatable calls and general weirdness in the Los Angeles Kings' chippy visit from Dallas, neither team seemed all that surprised when it was decided on a puck to the chest.
Jeff Carter deflected the winning goal off his upper body with 51 seconds left in overtime, and the Kings took sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference with a 4-3 victory over the Stars on Sunday night.
Captain Dustin Brown scored two goals for the defending Stanley Cup champions, and Mike Richards scored an early goal before putting the puck off the crest on Carter's black jersey in front for the overtime winner — Carter's 25th goal of a standout season.
"Giving up a two-goal lead and then falling behind and being able to come back and win is a good response by our group," Brown said.
The Kings (26-14-5) moved two points clear of San Jose for fourth place and home-ice advantage in the first round after the Sharks lost to Columbus. Both teams have three games left, with San Jose visiting Los Angeles for the regular-season finale Saturday.
The champs also got a reminder of the tenacity necessary to win in the postseason after Dallas got the benefit of two late refereeing decisions — a Dallas goal that stood after Ryan Garbutt played the puck with a precariously high stick, and a Los Angeles goal that was waved off for unclear reasons.
"The second goal against, and the goal taken away in the third, were judgment calls by the refs," Brown said. "That stuff happens throughout the course of a game and throughout the course of the season. It's a matter of how you respond when things aren't going your way."
The Kings ended Dallas' four-game Staples Center winning streak in a bad-tempered meeting between division rivals. Los Angeles has won six of its last nine games, earning a point all but once.
Jonathan Quick made 24 saves while beating Dallas for the first time in four tries this season. Los Angeles also prevented rival Anaheim from clinching its second Pacific Division title in franchise history after the Ducks won at Edmonton earlier. Los Angeles trails Anaheim by five points with three games left.
"Honestly, I'm not watching anybody else," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said. "I just want us to take care of our own business, and who we play is who play. ... I don't think we're selective about that. We've talked about (home ice), but that's the end result."
Alex Goligoski scored early in the third period and Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots for the Stars, who have lost three of four. Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel also scored for the Stars (22-19-4), who sit three points behind the Blue Jackets and Minnesota for the final playoff spot.