Richard Bachman made 26 saves in his first NHL start, defenseman Trevor Daley scored the go-ahead goal and Jamie Benn connected on a power play, leading the Dallas Stars to a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday night and sending the low-scoring Kings their fourth straight loss.
It was the second game in a row that Los Angeles has lost at home to a goalie making his first NHL start. On Thursday night, Minnesota's Matt Hackett stopped 42 shots in a 4-2 victory.
The Kings are averaging a league-worst 2.2 goals and have scored no more than two in any of their last eight games, their longest such streak since a nine-game stretch late in the 2005-06 season.
Bachman stopped all 15 shots he faced in two previous relief appearances — one last season and the other on Thursday night at San Jose, when the 24-year-old Salt Lake City native replaced an ineffective Andrew Raycroft after two periods in Dallas' 5-2 loss and made 11 saves. Raycroft started the previous four games, and has given up 10 goals in his last two with Kari Lehtonen (13-4-1, 2.34 GAA) sidelined by a groin strain.
Brad Richardson ended a 34-game goal drought with a short-handed tally for the Kings and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his sixth start of the season.
Daley put Dallas ahead 2-1 at 16:44 of the second period when his 20-foot wrist shot ricocheted off the left post and hit the back of Bernier's left skate before trickling into the net.
The Stars opened the scoring at 13:35 of the first against a penalty-killing unit that had allowed just one goal in its previous 35 short-handed situations.
Michael Ryder carried the puck through the right circle between Dustin Brown and Jack Johnson before his pass deflected off the back of Benn's right skate and past Bernier's stick while Justin Williams was off for high-sticking Vernon Fiddler. The goal was reviewed by video judges in Toronto, confirming that Benn did not intentionally kick it in.
Bachman stopped the first 15 shots he faced before Kopitar tied it at 13:58 of the second with the clubs skating 4-on-3. Teammate Jarret Stoll was serving a boarding penalty at the time, and the Stars could have had a two-man advantage for a minute and 23 seconds had Mike Ribeiro not received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for diving after drawing an interference penalty from Brown.
Kopitar stripped Ryder of the puck at the Kings' blue line and took off on a 2-on-1 rush with Richardson, who stuffed the puck between Bachman's pads as the goalie dropped to his knees. It was the first goal since last Feb. 28 for Richardson, who was a healthy scratch in seven of the Kings' previous eight games. It was the first short-handed goal scored against Dallas this season, leaving the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins as the only team that hasn't allowed one. Last season the Stars gave up 15 short-handed goals, the second-most in the league.
Notes: Kings D Willie Mitchell returned to the lineup after missing three games with a lower-body injury and got into a fight with Steve Ott during his sixth shift of the game. ... The Kings assigned LW Ethan Moreau to Manchester of the AHL after he cleared waivers Saturday morning. ... Dallas is one of five teams that has yet to shut out an opponent. Ottawa, Columbus, Chicago and the Islanders are the others. ... Dallas LW Loui Eriksson has only one goal in his last 12 games. It came against the Kings in a 3-2 overtime win Nov. 23 at Dallas, when he tied the score with 20.3 seconds left in regulation. ... The Kings begin a four-game trip Tuesday against the Bruins, whom they're beaten five straight times. ... After opening this five-game trip in San Jose and Los Angeles, the Stars will play their next three games against the Rangers, Islanders and New Jersey Devils. ... Dallas was 1 for 7 on the power play, equaling their season high in power-play chances. It was only the third time in 14 games that they had more than three opportunities. ... The Stars are 15-1-0 when allowing fewer than three goals — the only loss coming when the Kings' Jonathan Quick beat them 1-0 on Oct. 22 at Los Angeles. Dallas is 1-10-1 when allowing more than two, including a 5-3 home loss to the Kings on Oct. 27. ... Los Angeles was 0 for 3 on the power play, and is 3 for 34 over its last 10 games. Dallas' opponents are 2 for 27 on the power play over the last nine games.