Stars hand Kings' Jones 1st NHL loss after 8 wins

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 24, 2013 at 1:08 am •  Published: December 24, 2013
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The way goalie Martin Jones began his NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings, the last thing anyone on either bench expected was for him to give up goals on the first two shots the Dallas Stars took.

But Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn scored 1 minute, 20 seconds apart — before the Staples Center seats were even filled — and rookie linemate Valeri Nichushkin got the go-ahead goal on a power play in the second period to propel the Stars to a 5-2 victory over the Kings on Monday night.

"Those guys have played extremely well, and we came in here as weak underdogs. But we got off to a great start," goaltender Kari Lehtonen said. "We talked about how well (Jones) has played. But I tried to turn it around the other way, like: 'He has to lose one day — and hopefully it would be tonight.' But he's a real good goalie and fun to watch."

Cody Eakin scored an insurance goal with 4:48 remaining against Jones, who stopped 19 shots in his first NHL loss.

Shawn Horcoff was awarded an empty-net goal after he was tripped from behind by Drew Doughty in the Kings zone. Lehtonen made 30 saves to record his league-leading 12th road victory, sending the Kings to their second loss in 11 games and just their third in regulation over the last 23.

"We're trying to gain points in our conference, and the only way we're going to do it is by beating good teams," coach Lindy Ruff said. "Our young defensemen responded well to the challenge."

Dallas' top line of Benn, Seguin and Nichushkin has accounted for 15 goals and 29 points in its last nine games. This was the second time this season that each of them scored in the same game. It also occurred on Dec. 14 in a 6-4 victory at Winnipeg.

"They had a little bit of a rough time in San Jose, and probably were out worst line in the game up there. But they responded by coming back tonight and being the reason we won — which was good to see," Ruff said.

"Tyler's got elite speed, Jamie's got elite puck-handling skills and a shot, and so does Tyler. And the 18-year-old (Nichushkin) is young to be something special," he added. "They bring a lot of good things like size and speed, and that's tough to handle."

Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll scored first-period goals for Los Angeles. The Kings played without captain Dustin Brown, who missed his first game of the season due to an illness.

Jones, who tied Bob Froese's 31-year-old NHL record on Saturday by winning for the eighth time in his first eight NHL games, was going after Ray Emery's mark of nine straight winning decisions from the start of a career.



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