The Kings certainly had their chances Thursday night against the Dallas Stars.
About 40 of them.
Not one of their shots found the back of the net, though, and the resilient Stars used third-period goals from 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, 40, to hand them a frustrating 2-0 defeat and end their five-game winning streak at Staples Center.
The Kings played so much of the game in the Stars’ end of the ice that the Zamboni drivers might as well have cut their customary between-periods commute in half. The Kings looked like they were skating on a power play that seemed to go on and on.
Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen turned the Kings away again and again, however.
“He played a very good game for them, but our top lines, me, Kopi, Stick, Ricky and Carts and Pens, that’s when we’re expected to find a big goal,” Kings team captain Dustin Brown said, referring to Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Dustin Penner.
“It’s a matter of just finding a way to get it done.”
It seemed only a matter of time before the Kings would score. They buzzed around Lehtonen’s net from the opening minutes and the outshot the Stars 12-5 in the first period and by 18-10 in the second. They had zero to show for their dominance, however.
“We had our chances and there were a couple of times when he was looking backwards and might have thought they went in,” Kings enforcer Kyle Clifford said of Lehtonen. “We just didn’t get a break. I felt like we had enough shots on him. We just didn’t bury our chances.”
Lehtonen recorded his first shutout this season and the 22nd of his career.