The Los Angeles Kings came into tonight's game against the Dallas Stars with a dismal 0-3-0 record. The Stars had been third in the Central Division with a record of 2-1-0 before tonight's game. If anyone had asked me before the game who I thought would win, I would not have hesitated to say the Stars would take the game easily. The Kings have been having a rough start to their season and had not been playing up to their potential even without having Jonathan Quick in goal. The Kings however had never in their 50 year history started the season with 4 losses and thankfully for the Kings that is still true tonight.
The Kings came out fighting and controlled the game leading from early in the game. This was a key for the Kings to have a chance at wining tonight. The Stars are historically a high scoring team and if they allowed them to take the lead they would have been doomed to suffer yet another loss. The Stars still played a tough game and worked hard to tie the game first at 2 in the second and finally at 3 late in the third. Peter Budaj stepped up to the plate and played strong holding on and trusting his team to help him out when the game was tied and went into overtime. Another thing the Kings did well was control things on the penalty kill allowing only 1 power play goal for the Stars out of 6 power play opportunities throughout the game. The Kings defense also played much better than they have thus far giving Budaj better protection and helping to keep the score relatively low for the Stars.
For offense Nic Dowd got his first NHL goal in the 1st to give the Kings the early lead, in the 2nd Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson scored to keep the momentum going and hold onto their lead, and in over time Alec Martinez was the hero of the game scoring the wining goal with 1:20 left in the OT period, giving the Kings their first win of this 2016-17 season! The win was not clean or pretty, but it was a win, and in the end that is all that matters. They have proven that they can win without Quick. Now they just need to keep that momentum going, and have more games in the win column than the loss until Quick is healthy again. If they can manage this small miracle, then the Kings might be able to keep their playoff hopes alive.... only time will tell.