The Kings avoided the dubious distinction of not having won on the road this season and also shed the issue of their lingering first-period woes.
Emphatically, three players broke out of goal-scoring slumps: Trevor Lewis, Dustin Brown and Kyle Clifford scored to lead the Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center, salvaging a difficult trip.
Lewis had an assist for his first multi-point game since March 22, and Brown, who turned 30 on Tuesday, had the game winner at 4 minutes 23 seconds of the third period.
The Kings also escaped what could have been a serious eye injury to forward Justin Williams with less than four minutes to play. Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillon got his stick up under the visor of Williams, and Williams immediately left for treatment.
“The doctors looked at him and obviously it’s not serious,” Coach Darryl Sutter said. “Gotta be careful and see how it goes. I think he was cut under [the eye].
“At least it’s not serious. That’s all I can tell you. If it was serious, I’d be in there with him.”
The victory gave the Kings three points on their five-game trip, and was their first victory on the road this season (1-3-2).
The Kings trailed, 1-0, after the first period after Shawn Horcoff scored for Dallas on a two-on-one advantage 2:37 into the game.
Sutter thought about getting Lewis back into the penalty-killing rotation and talked to him about it Monday night. Lewis is one of the Kings’ better penalty killers but sat out nine games because of an injury before coming back against Detroit on Friday.
So what happened? Lewis scored a short-handed goal, tying the score, 1-1, at 2:55 of the second period for his first goal of the season. Jarret Stoll did the heavy lifting and Lewis put on a terrific finishing touch, beating goalie Kari Lehtonen.
“Force the goalie to make a play and Stollie did a great job getting a stick on it and keeping it alive,” Lewis said. "[Lehtonen] went for a poke check and kinda slid it around him.”
Said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who played a season-high 31:46: “I thought [Lewis] was one of our best players tonight. He did a great job on the other goal that Cliffie got.
“I know last year was hard for him when he didn’t score for so long. For him to get off to a hot start like this, he’s just going to become better and better as the year goes on.”
Brown, downplayed the effect of his goal on his game. It was his second goal in 13 games and he hadn’t scored since the fourth game of the season. He did not have a point since then.
For Clifford, it was his first goal of the season and second point.
“It’s huge to get a win,” Brown said. “We’ve been struggling on the road for results. Tonight was a big win for just the feeling in the room and that can go a long way. As a group, we’ve been through a lot. A four-game losing streak is not going to deter us or anything like that.
“To get a win on the last game of a road trip and go home feeling good, it’s about using that feeling to get to work tomorrow morning and going from there.”
Jonathan Quick faced 34 shots and secured his first victory since beating Columbus on Oct. 26.
“I think he’d tell you that this was the best game of the trip for him,” Sutter said.
Said Quick: “I think there’s some things I need to clean up a little bit. Going into the third period, it was a tie game and we were able to win the third period on the road, especially against a team that is as good as Dallas.
“It’s quite an accomplishment. We can take that momentum and carry it back home.”