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Hockey

What we learned from the Kings’ 4-3 overtime win over the Stars

Peter Budaj, Antoine Roussel, Nic Dowd
Kings goalie Peter Budaj (31) blocks a shot in front of Stars left wing Antoine Roussel (21) and Kings center Nic Dowd (26) during the third period.
(LM Otero / Associated Press)

A few more takeaways after the Kings recorded their first win of the season, beating the high-powered Stars on Thursday night at Dallas.

Better defensive structure

Kings goalie Peter Budaj was complimentary of the defensive effort, a far more organized and cohesive system than displayed in the first three games. The Kings blocked 15 shots with defensemen Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin leading the effort with four each.

“It’s great,” Budaj said. “You don’t want to take anything away from Dallas but it was a well-deserved game by us. We outshot them. We took it to them and so we battled really hard to get these two points.”

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Importance of Tanner Pearson

Youngster Tanner Pearson’s effect has been swift and noticeable. He returned to the lineup in Minnesota after missing the first two games of the regular season because of a preseason suspension for an illegal hit to the head.

In two games, Pearson has four points — three goals and one assist — delivering some timely scoring punch on the left side. He scored 15 goals last season.

Sweet home, Alabama

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Rookie Nic Dowd may have played his college hockey in Minnesota at St. Cloud State, but he was born and raised in Huntsville, Ala.

Dowd showed nice hands and a deft touch to score his first NHL goal, beating Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen on the power play in the first period to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.

The NHL’s daily notes package highlighted Dowd’s accomplishment, pointing out that Dowd was the second Alabama-born player to score a goal in the NHL.

Defenseman Aud Tuten scored four goals over two seasons in the ‘40s for the Chicago Blackhawks. Tuten was born in Enterprise, Ala., but was raised in Saskatchewan, Canada.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com


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