Kings edge Stars 2-1 to climb out of NHL basement
DALLAS -- It took Jack Campbell nearly nine years to make his first start in Dallas. Turns out, the wait was well worth it for the Los Angeles Kings' goalie.
Campbell beat the team that drafted him and Dustin Brown scored a rare power-play goal for the Kings, who moved out of the NHL basement by holding off the Stars 2-1 on Thursday night.
Dallas took Campbell with the 11th pick of the 2010 draft.
"Nothing more I wanted at 18 or 19, 20, 21, 22, than to be the franchise goalie," Campbell said. "Didn't happen. But it's great to come back here.
"I just wanted to win just 'cause we need it."
In his only game for the Stars, Campbell started and lost 6-3 at Anaheim five seasons ago.
"I backed up a few times here. It kind of allowed me to settle in a little bit before I played my first game," he said.
The goaltender has played a career-high 16 games this season as Jonathan Quick's backup.
"(Campbell's) been thrown into some tough situations and he's responded well for us," Kings coach Willie Desjardins said.
Campbell made 29 saves, 18 in the third period. He lost his shutout with 1:04 to play, when Esa Lindell tipped in Alexander Radulov's shot from the blue line with Stars goalie Ben Bishop pulled for an extra skater. Campbell stopped a similar shot by Tyler Seguin in the final minute.
"We're all looking for the pretty play until that third period," Seguin said. "We started simplifying and getting deep and going to hard areas."
Brown's goal came in the first period when he deflected in a shot by Drew Doughty. Carl Hagelin added a goal in the second for the Kings.
"We've been working hard at the power play in practice every day," Doughty said. "Tonight we decided to simplify it, try to get a puck at the net the first five to 10 seconds of the power play."
It took just three seconds for the Kings to score on their only power play of the game. They still have a league-low six power-play goals on the road this season.
Dallas' John Klingberg went to the penalty box at 18:01. Brown scored his 12th goal at 18:04.
Anze Kopitar won the draw, and the puck went to Doughty at the left point. Down low, Brown deflected Doughty's drive past Bishop into the upper right corner.
Los Angeles remained last in the Pacific Division but leapfrogged Chicago and Ottawa in the overall standings. The Kings are 2-0-1 in the past three games, their best stretch since a four-game winning streak in December.
The Stars have lost four straight, equaling their longest skid this season. In each of the four games, they have fallen behind 2-0.
Dallas has only three goals during its slide. Lindell ended a scoreless streak that lasted 130:21.
Bishop stopped 17 shots.
On Hagelin's goal, Bishop had trouble handling a knuckleballing shot by Tyler Toffoli from low in the left faceoff circle. The puck dropped by Bishop's left skate and Hagelin was there to wrist it into the net.
The Stars had only 11 shots on goal in the first two periods, but they outshot Los Angeles 19-3 in a desperate third. Campbell denied a breakaway by Mattias Janmark with 8½ minutes left and was aided when two shots hit the post.
"First 40 (minutes), I don't think you could draw it up any better," Campbell said, "especially against that group. They made a push in the third. That's just hockey."
NOTES: Radulov said he was benched late in the first period after talking back to coach Jim Montgomery. "It was the right decision by Coach," he said. ... Doughty originally was credited with the first goal. The official scoring was changed during the second period. ... The Kings' power play ranks last in the NHL on the road at 12 percent (6 for 51). ... Los Angeles is the league's lowest-scoring team with 109 goals. Dallas has the third-fewest with 122. ... Stars C Jason Dickinson (back injury) came off injured reserve after missing 11 games. C Tyler Pitlick didn't play after taking a hit in the corner during the second period.
Kings: Complete a three-game trip at Colorado on Saturday.
Stars: Play the fourth of six straight home games Saturday against Winnipeg.
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