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Skid continues for Kings; Stars rookie Smith gets second career win

DALLAS (AP) -- Dallas goalie Mike Smith didn't expect to be
perfect this season.

The 24-year-old rookie gave up his first NHL goals Saturday
night, and made 32 saves in his second career start to lead the
Stars past the slumping Los Angeles Kings 3-2 Saturday night.

"I wasn't expecting to shut everybody out and go 25-0 this
season," said Smith, who had a shutout in his NHL debut against
the Phoenix Coyotes on Oct. 21. "It was exciting out there. I feel
like I had a good mental focus out there."

Jeff Halpern scored the winning goal with 3:44 left. It was his
first goal of the season.

Halpern rebounded Jere Lehtinen's shot past Los Angeles goalie
Mathieu Garon.

"I think I had a few too many chances to not score," Halpern
said. "To get it at that time in a game our goaltender essentially
stole for us, that was pretty nice."

The Stars, who lost Friday night to Detroit, extended the Kings'
winless streak to five games (0-4-1). It is the longest slide for
Los Angeles since it lost the last 11 games of the 2003-2004
season.

Smith, who shut out the Phoenix Coyotes in his NHL debut on Oct.
21, improved to 2-0 as starter Marty Turco took the night off.

Los Angeles continued to struggle offensively as it has scored
just 14 goals over the last 10 games.

"We keep getting good effort," Los Angeles' Jeff Cowan said.
"This is tough. But if we keep playing hard this will eventually
turn around."

Philippe Boucher and Stu Barnes had goals as Dallas (9-2-0)
matched the franchise mark that was set in 1996-97.

Dallas coach Dave Tippett said his club has looked sluggish the
past week, and he plans on giving the players the next two days off
so they can get some rest.

"We have not played to our potential," Tippett said. "For not
playing well for three of the last four games, we got six points. I
have to give the players credit for that."

Barnes' first goal of the season gave the Stars a 2-1 lead with
44.5 seconds left in the second. Rob Blake scored early in the
second on a power play, snapping the Kings' 0-for-23 slide with the
man advantage.

The Kings tied the score at 2 on Tom Kostopoulos' goal at 7:10
of the third.

Los Angeles pulled Garon in the final minute and had a two-man
advantage for the final 28.7 seconds when Sergei Zubov was called
for hooking. However, the Kings couldn't get a shot off.

"We gave up that goal at the end of the game," said Garon, who
had 25 saves. "It always seems like we have bad luck toward the
end of games."

Smith, who faced 22 shots against the Coyotes, saw far more
action from the Kings. Los Angeles outshot Dallas 34-28 one night
after taking 38 shots in a 2-0 loss to Columbus.

Los Angeles, who came in next-to-last on the power play, was
1-of-8 with a man advantage.

Boucher opened the scoring with a goal from just above the right
circle at 14:34 of the first.

Blake flipped a shot from near the blue line for his first goal
of the season, and Los Angeles' first power-play goal in five
games.

Dallas' Matthew Barnaby had two assists, including a nice pass
to a streaking Barnes, who beat Garon from the right circle to give
the Stars a 2-1 lead with 44.5 seconds left in the second.

Game notes
Dallas C Steve Ott has a fractured ankle and will miss the
next two months. He is scheduled to have surgery Monday. Ott got
into a fight with Kostopoulos midway through the second period. It
appeared Ott fell awkardly after he was hit by Kostopoulos. ... Los
Angeles C Craig Conroy played in his 700th NHL game.