Adrian Kempe and Arthur Kaliyev scored as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Dallas Stars 4-0 on Thursday night.
Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for his second shutout of the season and 56th of his career. Viktor Arvidsson and Andreas Athanasiou added empty-net goals.
“We made mistakes, we’re not going to be perfect, so Quickie was the stabilizer,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “He calmed things down. I always talk about his game management, the ability to get a whistle when we need it, get out and play a puck when we need it. I thought he did that.”
Jake Oettinger allowed two goals on 39 shots for the Stars, who were playing the second game of a back-to-back. They’ve dropped two straight following a seven-game winning streak.
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“We’ve only won one game in regulation on the road, and we’re just gonna have to bear down,” Dallas coach Rick Bowness said. “We lost that game tonight with two neutral-zone turnovers and, again, when it was 1-0 we had some Grade As that we didn’t capitalize on, so some of those areas where we’re just gonna have to bear down in and clean up.”
Kempe gave the Kings a 1-0 lead 50 seconds into the second period, scoring on a breakaway off quick passes by Dustin Brown and Phillip Danault.
Danault got Los Angeles out in transition after taking the puck from Roope Hintz, leading to Kempe’s fourth goal in the past five games.
Kaliyev made it 2-0 with 5:28 remaining in the third on another sequence when the Kings quickly transitioned from defense to offense. Bowness said Dallas’ indecisive play with the puck made things too easy for the Kings.
“Well, when they’re standing up and there’s nowhere to go, there’s nowhere to go. And it cost us,” Bowness said. “We know how they’re going to play with that 1-3-1. If you can’t get a quick up before they get set up, you have no choice. You just have to chip it in behind them and go to work.”
Arvidsson pushed the lead to 3-0 with 1:19 to go.
Athanasiou, who returned after missing six games in COVID-19 protocol, got the Kings’ fourth goal with 31 seconds to play.
Dallas entered as one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference, with a 9-2-0 mark in its previous 11 games. But after a disheartening 5-4 loss at Vegas on Wednesday when the Stars wasted a pair of two-goal leads, Bowness shuffled his bottom six forwards and inserted forward Tanner Kero and defenseman Joel Hanley into the lineup.
It didn’t seem to have much of an effect early as Dallas was outshot 20-9 in the opening period, with Los Angeles getting the first 15 looks on net.
However, Quick had to make more key stops through 40 minutes for Los Angeles to hold its advantage, including a pad save to deny a charging Denis Gurianov at the post.
For the Kings, it was a critical result given their erratic recent play. They had won just two of their previous 10 games, with an impressive 5-1 win at Edmonton on Sunday quickly erased by an embarrassing 4-0 loss to struggling Vancouver the next night.
Los Angeles went 1-4-2 on its previous homestand, so there was added importance to taking care of business during this brief two-game stint at home.
“Big bounce back and big shutout, so a good 60 minutes, good character win,” Danault said.
Rapper Snoop Dogg made his annual visit to a Kings game, playing a DJ set during warmups, introducing the team and sitting in with the local broadcasters.
McLellan doesn’t have a favorite song by the Los Angeles icon, who is set to perform as part of the Super Bowl halftime show in Inglewood, California, next February, but was pleased to have him back in the building.
“It’s a little different music than what us old guys listen to, I guess, but he did a good job of creating some energy in the arena. I thought it was great,” McLellan said. “We’ll welcome him back anytime.”
NOTES: Quick is 6-2-2 in his past 10 starts. … Kempe leads the team with 11 goals. … Arvidsson has one goal and four assists in his past five games.
Stars: Visit the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
Kings: Host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.