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2019/02/12 00:39:05 (permalink)

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DALLAS (AP) — Limited to 11 forwards because of injuries , the Dallas Stars got the game they needed from top scorers Jason Spezza and John Klingberg.Spezza and Klingberg each had a goal and an assist and the Stars snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.Blake Comeau and Tyler Pitlick each scored their first goal of the season, and seven of the 11 forwards had at least one point.“I enjoyed the 11 forwards tonight,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. “Everybody was into the game.”Pitlick skated with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn on the top line because Alexander Radulov was still out with a lower-body injury. Pitlick’s goal was his first point this season and the first power-play goal in his 146-game career.“We had a couple guys that got them and got the monkey off their back,” Pitlick said.Montgomery wasn’t committing to keeping Pitlick on the first line.“He did OK,” Montgomery said, “but I want (Radulov) back.”Despite missing the last three games, Radulov has 10 points in six games , trailing only Seguin’s 11 points.Defenseman Klingberg leads the Stars with five goals. He has eight points, and Spezza seven.Ben Bishop made 31 saves for Dallas, which never trailed.“Besides breakaways, it didn’t look like anything would get by (Bishop), who was by far our best player tonight.” Montgomery said. “The shots were perfect shots or perfect moves that had to get pucks by him.”Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli scored second-period goals for the Kings, who lost their fifth straight. Jonathan Quick stopped 19 shots for Los Angeles.“I thought this was a step in the right direction,” Kopitar said , “but we can’t just get satisfied with getting close. I thought we moved the puck better, but there are still breakdowns that happened, and we have to correct them.”Defensive breakdowns, especially in front of Quick, resulted in a fifth straight game allowing four or more goals.Comeau started the scoring at 5:14 of the first period on assists from Jason Dickinson and Spezza.“I’m thinking wraparound first,” Dickinson said. “I’m thinking Quick has me beat to the short side, so I wanted to draw it back side , thinking (Spezza) would be going back door. I got lucky that it rolled off my stick.”There was Comeau in front.“It was a great play by Jason. He got the puck, carried it all the way around the net. I just tried to find a little hole in front of the net. I didn’t do much on that play,” he said.Pitlick scored on a Stars power play at 4:23 of the third period, with assists going to Seguin and Klingberg.“They have a great power play over there – best in the league,” Kings coach John Stevens said. “You don’t want to give them opportunities to get on the power play. A lot of detail that comes back to bite you.”With an extra skater, Los Angeles put the puck in the net with 30 seconds to play, but the goal was disallowed because of goaltender interference.NOTES: Dallas RW Valeri Nichushkin (lower-body injury) also missed his third straight game. … The Stars played with seven defensemen and just 11 forwards. The Kings have been outscored 25-7 in their five straight losses. Dallas opponents had a 10-2 advantage during the Stars’ losing streak. … Dowling was playing his first NHL game since 2016-17. He was recalled from Texas of the AHL on Monday. … Kings D Sean Walker assisted on Toffoli’s goal in his NHL debut after being recalled from Ontario of the AHL. … Kopitar has 16 career goals in 59 games against the Stars.UP NEXTKings: At Minnesota on Thursday to finish a two-game trip.Stars: Complete a three-game homestand on Thursday against Anaheim. DALLAS (AP) The Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals cleared some space to try to re-sign a handful of key free agents by trading veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik and backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer to the Colorado Avalanche for the 47th pick in the NHL draft .Shedding Orpik’s $5.5 million salary in the final year of his contract and dealing Grubauer before he earned more as a restricted free agent gives them more than $20 million in cap space. It’s needed because defensemen John Carlson and Michal Kempny can become unrestricted free agents July 1 and playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly and top-line winger Tom Wilson will get raises as RFAs.”You don’t like trading away good people , but it’s what we had to do to move forward with the team,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Friday night. ”It’s hard to do, but we had to create some room to sign some players.”Carlson, who led all defenseman in scoring in the regular season and playoffs, is expected to cost $8 million-plus a season on a long-term deal. The Capitals would have struggled to fit that under the $79.5 million ceiling without a move like this.MacLellan has met with Carlson’s agent and said the two sides are really close to agreeing to a contract.”We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. ”Hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”The 37-year-old Orpik was a respected alternate captain who got the Cup third after Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom when Washington won its first title in franchise history. The rugged defenseman played almost 20 minutes a game in four seasons with the Capitals and scored the winning goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against Vegas.Colorado GM Joe Sakic was willing to take Orpik in the trade to keep the acquisition cost down and plans to try to trade him or buy him out. He felt it was worth it for the Avalanche to get Grubauer.”We all feel that he’s ready to take the next step and become a No. 1,” Sakic said. ”We’re excited to have two No. 1 goalies.”The 26-year-old joins fellow Capitals draft pick Semyon Varlamov with the Avalanche where he’ll get the chance to start more games than he did behind Braden Holtby in Washington.Grubauer started a career-high 35 games with the Capitals this past season , going 28-15-10 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. He played well enough to be the Capitals’ starter at the beginning of the playoffs but was replaced by Holtby during Game 2 of the first round after allowing eight goals on 49 shots.The Avalanche lost Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier to injuries last season and with this move shored up their goaltending situation. Bernier will depart in free agency. Sakic expects to agree to terms on a deal with Grubauer, a pending restricted free agent, in short order.”I believe it’ll come pretty quick,” Sakic said.The Capitals can only hope the same in their negotiations with Carlson. It’s their goal to sign him before he can speak with other teams when the draft concludes and would be one of the top free agents available.MacLellan also wouldn’t rule out bringing back Orpik if the Avalanche buy him out.”I think it’s legal,” MacLellan said. ”We’re open to that depending on how much room and how much salary it would take and if we want to put him in that third pair again.”—

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