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Ribeiro, Miettinen have three-point nights and send Stars past Kings

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Ribeiro, Miettinen have three-point nights and send Stars past Kings

The Canadian Press
By:

DALLAS - Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett has used Mike Ribeiro, Antti Miettinen and Brenden Morrow on a line for two full games. The results say Tippett should stick with the trio a while longer.

Ribeiro had two goals and two assists and the Stars maintained their dominance over the Los Angeles Kings with a 4-1 victory Thursday night.

Miettinen added a goal and two assists, and Morrow had a goal and an assist for the Stars, 11-1-1 in their past 13 meetings with the Kings.

Dallas, which has won seven straight at home against Los Angeles to tie the club's longest active home winning streak, has outscored the Kings 48-26 in its past 13 matchups.

Ribeiro, Miettinen and Morrow have combined for 14 points in the two games they've played as a line.

"It was the offensive spark we needed for sure," Tippett said. "That whole line was really feeding off each other. They were excellent in creating. We wanted someone to come in and take charge so we challenged our veteran leadership. They really took it to heart."

Miettinen is filling in for Finnish countryman Jere Lehtinen, out eight to 10 weeks with an abdominal injury.

Lehtinen, who led the Stars with 26 goals last season and is considered one of the game's best two-way players, has been missed, but Miettinen is picking up the slack with points in his past four games.

"(Miettinen) can play both sides," Ribeiro said. "He's a great forechecker. He's good with the puck. He can get creative. He makes me think of a young (Lehtinen)."

Marty Turco, facing the Kings for the first time since giving up five third-period goals in a 6-5 overtime loss in Los Angeles on Nov. 10, stopped 26 shots for the Stars.

"I wasn't thinking about that last game in L.A.," Turco said. "I was focusing on tonight. I felt it was a solid all-around effort."

Tom Preissing's power-play goal at 3:29 of the third period ended Turco's bid for his 32nd career shutout.

The Kings were playing their third game in four nights and were coming off a 6-3 defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

"It's frustrating," Kings defenceman Jaroslav Modry said. "Breakdowns cost us the game. We were solid at the start, but we had a breakdown that cost us and we were behind the rest of the night."

The Stars took a while to get going, failing to register a shot on goal in the first 10 minutes.

But Turco made two tough early saves, and Ribeiro gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 11:52 on a redirection of Miettinen's pass.

Kings rookie goalie Jonathan Quick got the start in his third NHL appearance, He gave up four goals on 18 shots before he was replaced by Jean-Sebastien Aubin at 14:56 of the second period.

"He was starting to think too much," Kings coach Marc Crawford said of Quick. "I had to get him out of there. But he's a young goalie."

Dallas broke the game open with a three-goal second period. Morrow made it 2-0 at 2:40, 15 seconds into a power play, notching his 11th on a one-timer from the left circle.

The Stars increased their advantage to 4-0 later in the second period on Miettinen's third at 7:03 and Ribeiro's team-high 15th 10 seconds into another power play at 14:56.

"We scored two (power-play goals) in 25 seconds," Morrow said. "That gave us a bit of a cushion. We created a lot tonight."

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Ribeiro, Miettinen have three-point nights and send Stars past Kings