LOS ANGELES -- With the San Jose Sharks, the Pacific Division leaders, winning at a blistering pace, the Los Angeles Kings knew they needed to extend their winning ways on a four-game homestand after a successful four-game road trip to keep pace.
Drew Doughty scored the game-winning goal 4:42 into the third period to back a 27 save performance by Jonathan Quick as the Kings defeated the Dallas Stars 5-2 Saturday night.
Justin Williams scored two goals for the Kings, who improved to 6-3-0, while Jamie Benn tallied two assists for Dallas, which fell to 3-4.
"It's funny, when you get one early things seem to slow a little bit down for you and you start making a few more plays," said Williams, who fell short of achieving his second career hat trick. "Of course, I wanted to get that third one, I wanted to see that ice littered with hats, but the most important thing is we won and we won on home ice."
Doughty forged the Kings an early third-period lead when he slid the puck off a feed from the left point by Williams. The assist was Williams' third point of the night. Doughty's second goal of the season was also assisted by Anze Kopitar, who registered a helper on the first three Los Angeles goals.
The goal was Doughty's 13th career game-winner, tying him with Steve Duchesne for second all-time among Kings defensemen.
Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for five straight games and contributed to the victory with two assists.
"It felt good to be back out there and I was glad I could put a couple of points on the board to help us win," he said.
Dallas center Tyler Seguin opened the scoring with a tip in to the right side of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick at 8:49 of the first period. The Kings rallied late in the period behind two Williams' goals, his 3rd and 4th of the season, to take the lead after 20 minutes. Williams' second goal was the first power-play goal scored by the Kings in five games, snapping an 0-for-16 streak with the extra man.
Stars forward Rich Peverley tied the game at 2 at 8:13 of the second period when he got position behind Kings defenseman Robyn Regher and cashed in a rebound off a wraparound attempt by Benn.
Stars goalie Dan Ellis, who started his fourth consecutive game due to the lower body injury suffered by starter Kari Lehtonen, kept the Kings off the board in the second period, recording seven saves, including a breakaway by Kings right winger Jeff Carter.
But Doughty scored the game winner less than five minutes into the third, and Kyle Clifford's first goal of the season at 13:02 sealed the Kings fifth victory in the last six games.
Kings defenseman Matt Greene added an empty netter in the final minute to close out the scoring.
Special teams were a major factor in this contest, Los Angeles killed off all five Dallas power play chances and now rank third overall in the NHL on the penalty kill.
"That was one of the best penalty kills I've played against this season," Seguin said.
Dallas coach Lindy Ruff was less impressed with the Kings' effort, citing his team's mistakes that led to the defeat.
"I think tonight we had every defenseman cough one up," he said. "We had some forwards that coughed it up too. There are times when you can use the middle of the ice and there are times when you've got to keep it up the walls. We really do have to eliminate some of the big turnovers. We had some turnovers that were inexcusable tonight"
NOTES: LW Matt Frattin, goalless in eight games and the central figure in the offseason trade for G Jonathan Bernier, was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. ... The Kings announced their 53rd consecutive sellout at Staples Center, a streak started Dec. 3, 2011. ... Dallas will face off against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday to wrap their back to back Southern California road trip then return home to face Calgary on Thursday. ... Dallas RW Alex Chaisson is just the sixth player to score nine goals in his first 10 games since the 1943-44 season, and he joins Anaheim RW Teemu Selanne as the only active NHLers to have accomplished the feat.
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