LOS ANGELES—Martin Jones knew this day would come and it ran him over like a reindeer. In what would have been Jones’ record breaking start as a goaltender in the NHL, the rookie accepted a rough outing against the Dallas Stars as they snapped LA’s three-game winning streak tarnishing his now 8-1-0 record.
The Kings came out strong in the first few minutes with Justin Williams scoring his second straight game with a backhander in front of Dallasnetminder Kari Lehtonen. Dallas responded with two goals in three minutes with the first from Tyler Seguin scoring his 19th of the season with a wrist shot on a three man pass play that beat the fast glove of Jones. Jamie Benn added his 11th on an unassisted backhander that put the Stars ahead with the lead. The Kings who shot 13 times on the net caught a break to the tie with Jarret Stoll scoring with a drive from the far end recording his fifth.
It would be the last time the Kings would find the puck in the back of the net in their favor. The Los Angeles defense fell apart giving the Stars the entire second period to go ahead. Dallas connected on their second power play attempt that Valeri Nichushkin playing in his first NHL season scored his seventh to put Dallas back in charge. The Stars outshot the Kings 14-9, but their biggest problem was the three man advantage in the period that helped the Stars who sit in fifth place in the Central Division.
The third period looked to be better for the Kings, but the score remained in favor of their opponents. Late in the period Cody Eakin increased the margin of the scoring with his eighth of the season on a slapshot set up with a steal in the Kings end from Ryan Garbutt who gained his fifth assist. Jones was starting to bow out of breaking a long record of 11 set by Montreal Canadiens goaltender Bill Durnan in the 1943-1944 season. In the final minute, LA coach Darryl Sutter pulled Jones from the net in an attempt to cover the two goal gap. The sixth man failed as Dallas gained control of the puck with Shawn Horcoff going end to end scoring the empty netter and his fourth goal.
Jones may have earned a tough loss, but the fault was not put all on him as he had a record that hasn’t been built that high in quite a long time. Jones made 19 saves with a .953 save percentage giving his GAA a hit going above the whole number with 1.31. The Kings will let this game go and enjoy the holiday before hitting the road to face Nashville on Saturday.