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Handzus, Visnovsky help Kings end struggles against Stars

Mar 22, 2008 - 11:19 PM
DALLAS (Ticker) -- It took a late rally for the Los Angeles Kings to end their struggles in the Lone Star State.

Michal Handzus scored twice and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky netted the game-winner in less than a two-minute span late in the third period Saturday to lift the Kings to a 4-2 comeback victory Saturday afternoon over the Dallas Stars.

Captain Rob Blake also scored and rookie Erik Ersberg made 25 saves for Los Angeles, which had lost its previous seven visits to Dallas.

"We don't have the luxury of gaining experience in the playoffs," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "We look at these games as a challenge because they mean so much to our opponents. This game was so close and I thought we played well. It was nice to get a payoff."

"We want to get better," Handzus added. "The best way to learn is games like this. To win in a tough building like this is a confidence builder."

With the Kings trailing, 2-1, Handzus started the comeback with 3:01 left in the third, when his uncontested wrist shot from the high slot beat goaltender Marty Turco over the shoulder.

"(Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley) lost the puck and I jumped on it," Handzus said. "I don't think (Turco) saw it, so I got a little lucky."

Less than a minute later and just seconds after Turco was bumped in his own crease, Visnovsky fired a one-timer from the right point that deflected off the stick of a defender and squeezed past the netminder - who still was on his knees - with 2:06 remaining.

"I was just trying to shoot," Visnovsky said of his eighth goal of the season. "There was a lot of traffic in front of net. Luckily, the puck went in."

"Marty must have felt he was interfered with because after (Kings defenseman Jon Klemm) went by him, he didn't get up, he just stayed on his knees. They get a point shot and it goes in," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "That's that urgency you need, every play in the game counts. You might not like the play, but every one counts. If you don't like it, if you don't want to play through it, then it will count against you."

Handzus, who had not scored in his previous 41 games, tallied again with 79 seconds left to seal the win. It was his seventh of the season and capped his first multi-goal performance of the campaign.

The Stars, who still are a virtual lock for the postseason, have begun to falter.

Dallas (42-29-5) has lost four in a row and seven of its last eight en route to falling from first place to third in the Pacific Division and fifth in the Western Conference. In the process, it has been outscored by a 17-3 margin in the third period over its last nine contests.

Captain Brenden Morrow and Stu Barnes scored for the Stars, who fell to 11-2-2 against the Kings over the last two seasons.

"It's pretty disappointing, no question," Barnes said of the loss. "We played a pretty solid game for most of the game, but at the end, we couldn't close it out the way we needed to. Games that we've won in the past, when we've been successful, those are the games we finished, and we didn't do that again tonight. It's been a couple in a row now."

Barnes' tally - his 10th of 2007-08 - gave Dallas a 2-1 edge with 8:28 left in the middle period.

Morrow's power-play goal with 6:52 remaining was the lone tally of the first period. Blake responded during a man advantage at 5:48 of the second to tie the game at 1-1.

"Our fate has been written, we're out of the playoffs," Blake said. "We're just trying to get a little respect, and I think we got that tonight. They're a good team. They'll be very tough in the playoffs. This was a good challenge because of how good they are."

Turco made 26 saves but gave up three goals on just 10 shots in the third.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 0 1 3 4
    DALLAS 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) BRENDEN MORROW 29 (MATT NISKANEN, TREVOR DALEY)
    13:08
    2ND PRD: LOS - (PP) ROB BLAKE 8 (MIKE CAMMALLERI, ANZE KOPITAR) 5:48
    DAL - STU BARNES 10 (MIKE RIBEIRO, MARK FISTRIC) 11:32
    3RD PRD: LOS - MICHAL HANDZ

    Mar 22 5:27 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 4
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: LOS - MICHAL HANDZUS 7 (ALEXANDER FROLOV, PATRICK O'SULLIVAN)
    18:41

    Kings 4, Stars 2  3rd - 1:19Mar 22 5:25 PM
  • 5
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    RUWTbot Took away 15 roots

    Kings 4, Stars 2  3rd - 1:19Mar 22 5:25 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 3
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: LOS - LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY 8 (DEREK ARMSTRONG, MIKE CAMMALLERI)
    17:54

    Kings 3, Stars 2  3rd - 2:06Mar 22 5:23 PM
  • 20
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    RUWTbot Took away 57 roots (Close Finish)

    Kings 3, Stars 2  3rd - 2:06Mar 22 5:23 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: LOS - MICHAL HANDZUS 6 (UNASSISTED) 16:59

    Kings 2, Stars 2  3rd - 3:01Mar 22 5:20 PM
  • 77
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Kings 2, Stars 2  3rd - 3:01Mar 22 5:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 0 1 1
    DALLAS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) BRENDEN MORROW 29 (MATT NISKANEN, TREVOR DALEY)
    13:08
    2ND PRD: LOS - (PP) ROB BLAKE 8 (MIKE CAMMALLERI, ANZE KOPITAR) 5:48
    DAL - STU BARNES 10 (MIKE RIBEIRO, MARK FISTRIC) 11:32
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Mar 22 4:33 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: DAL - STU BARNES 10 (MIKE RIBEIRO, MARK FISTRIC) 11:32

    Kings 1, Stars 2  2nd - 8:28Mar 22 4:20 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    DALLAS 1
    2ND PRD: LOS - (PP) ROB BLAKE 8 (MIKE CAMMALLERI, ANZE KOPITAR) 5:48

    Kings 1, Stars 1  2nd - 14:12Mar 22 4:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 0 0
    DALLAS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) BRENDEN MORROW 29 (MATT NISKANEN, TREVOR DALEY)
    13:08
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS 8 8
    DAL 9 9
    GOALIES: LOS - ERIK ER

    Mar 22 3:42 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 0
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) BRENDEN MORROW 29 (MATT NISKANEN, TREVOR DALEY)
    13:08

    Kings 0, Stars 1  1st - 6:52Mar 22 3:30 PM
  • 5
    roots
    jonyboy26 Added 5 roots

    Kings 0, Stars 0  1st - 9:45Mar 22 3:24 PM