The Stars haven't been able to grind out too many victories thus far this young season, but they did find a way to gut out a point to close a long road trip.
Alexander Frolov scored the decisive goal in the fifth round of the shootout to lift the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 win over struggling Dallas at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Despite the loss, the Stars were able to grab a deserved point in a gritty and hard-hitting game that capped Dallas' 1-3-1 five-game road trip.
"We have to find a way to get points," coach Dave Tippett said. "The goal tonight was two points and we only got one. Every point is magnified right now. Our game is starting to come but we need to turn that into points."
The Stars were bolstered by the return of Jere Lehtinen, who made his first appearance of the season after missing 14 games with a groin injury. Lehtinen picked up a goal in the first period, and Mike Modano scored his 533rd career goal for the Stars, who dropped to 0-3 in games that go past regulation.
"It's nice to be back but I wanted a win more than a goal," Lehtinen said. "These are all important games now and we need to start battling for every single point. I felt good to be out there, but it's going to take time to get to 100 percent."
Marty Turco finished with 24 saves.
"Points are so valuable right now and we have to get back to what we know we can do," Turco said. "We have to keep the right attitude and we are closer the way I look at it. We are walking quite a fine line now, but we will eventually be alright."
Jarret Stoll and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, who moved a point ahead of Dallas in the Pacific Division standings. Swedish goalie Erik Ersberg continued his fine play of late by making 19 saves and winning for the third straight time after taking over for regular starter Jason LaBarbera.
Ersberg preserved the Kings win when he was able to get a glove on Modano's wrist shot in the final shootout round.
"None of us are looking at this road trip as a success," captain Brenden Morrow said. "The rest of our division is collecting points and we are puttering around. We need to start gathering points, bottom line."
Mike Ribeiro, who was bloodied late in regulation after being knocked head first into the boards by Brown in the Kings zone, beat Ersberg with a spectacular goal in the third round to extend the shootout. Moving to his left, Ribeiro slid the puck behind him through his legs, then put it past Ersberg with just one hand on his stick while reaching back.
Ribeiro nearly helped win it for the Stars while being stitched up in the trainer's room. Brown was whistled for a five-minute major for boarding when he gave Ribeiro a nasty gash near the left eye when Ribeiro was left unbalanced after he twirled and shot along the right boards. But Dallas was unable to cash in on what wound up being a three-minute power play that bridged into overtime.
"It's tough. That was our chance to win the game," Brad Richards said. "Marty was good, we just have to get everyone on the same page. We need to keep working on our game and start gathering points."
Morrow engaged Brown in a fight following the incident, and was lost for the final six minutes of the game after being handed 17 minutes in penalties. Brown was given 20 minutes for his actions, and could very well get disciplined.
"I think the league looks at that," Tippett said. "I'm sure there will be a discussion on that."
"I couldn't protect myself," Ribeiro said. "My back was turned after I shot the puck."
Down by a goal after 20 minutes, Modano knotted things up with his fifth of the year midway through the second period. From the bottom portion of the left circle, Sergei Zubov sent Modano a cross-ice pass to the right circle. Modano let go a wicked wrist shot from a nearly impossible angle near the goal line that went off both posts before landing in the net.
Stoll started things out for the Kings, netting his fifth of the year just under seven minutes into the game. With the Stars down two-men, Stoll's slap shot from the top of the right circle glanced off both Steve Ott and Trevor Daley before winding up in the Stars net.
Lehtinen tied it with his first of the year with 5:43 left in the first. Richards send a slick no-look, behind-the-back pass from behind the goal line out to a charging Ott in front of the net. But the puck squirted past Ott and onto Lehtinen's stick along the inside edge of the left circle, and Lehtinen let a quick snap shot go to beat Ersberg.
Brown restored L.A.'s lead with his sixth of the year under three minutes later, converting on his own takeaway from Krys Barch at the Dallas blueline. After stealing the puck, Brown sent a pass to Anze Kopitar, whose wrist shot from the slot was turned aside by Turco. Brown then pounced on the rebound and bounced the puck off Turco and into the net from near the left boards.
These two teams now head to Dallas to meet for the second straight time on Thursday (7:30, FSN).
-- With Lehtinen's return, B.J. Crombeen became a healthy scratch.
-- Dallas has allowed at least one power-play goal in all but three of its 15 games this season.
-- Modano snapped a five-game point-less streak, and moved to within six points of 1,300 for his career.
-- Zubov recorded his first point since returning two games ago.
-- Dallas is 1-0-1 when tied after two periods, and 1-6-2 when trailing after the first period.
-- The Stars have dropped four of the last five meetings in Los Angles.
-- Dallas was only able to muster six goals in the four games they either lost in regulation or shootout on the just-concluded five-game road trip.
-- It was just over a year ago when the Kings picked up a remarkable 6-5 come-from-behind overtime win over the Stars after being down by four goals with seven minutes to play in regulation.