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Dallas
Stars
53-23-6
Los Angeles
Kings
42-35-5

27 SOG
40 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
DAL
LAK
game preview

Stars-Kings Preview

Sunday, 02.12.2006 / 1:00 PM

Associated Press

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Stars-Kings Preview
Dallas Stars vs. Los Angeles Kings

GAME: Dallas Stars (38-16-3) at Los Angeles Kings (31-23-5).

TIME: Sunday, 4 p.m. EST.

The Dallas Stars have been one of the league's best teams this season. They just need to find a way to beat the Los Angeles Kings.

Dallas will try to snap a four-game skid against its Pacific Division rivals as it meets the Kings in the teams' final game before the Olympic break.

The Stars opened the season Oct. 5 with a 5-4 win in Los Angeles. Since then, Dallas has been outscored 19-9 while dropping four straight to the Kings.

The Stars also have struggled in Los Angeles, going 3-9-1 there after a 10-game regular-season unbeaten streak from Dec. 2, 1995-Jan. 20, 2000.

Both of Dallas' goaltenders have fared poorly in the season series. Marty Turco allowed three goals in just over eight minutes of play Oct. 20 in a 7-2 loss. He is 1-2-1 with a 4.12 goals-against average against the Kings.

Turco, who will be headed to Turin after this contest to represent Canada, is almost assured of sitting out this game. Backup Johan Hedberg lost his only start to the Kings, and has posted a 5.39 GAA in two appearances against them.

Hedberg, however, is 7-0-0 with a 1.66 GAA while stopping 174 of 185 shots on the road this season.

Dallas lost for just the second time in nine games after a 6-3 setback Friday to the San Jose Sharks. Turco gave up four goals in the second period, two to Jonathan Cheechoo less than four minutes apart.

It was Turco's first loss in 14 games against San Jose, and he allowed five goals for the first time since Nov. 10.

"I didn't think it was going to last forever and I wasn't planning on it," Turco said. "But that's a good hockey team ... It's either been us or them who have been division champs so it's been fun. You don't like to lose to them but I've had the upper hand and I can't complain about that."

Los Angeles needed overtime against one of the league's weakest teams to snap a seven-game losing streak. Defenseman Joe Corvo's goal 40 seconds into overtime Saturday lifted the Kings to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

"It was absolutely necessary to win this game," Corvo said. "I mean, I've been moping around and the team's been moping around. It just seems like everything was going wrong. So we just had to have this one.

"I'm sure a lot of guys on the bench had an idea on the bench like, 'Here we go again.' But I don't think we were going to be denied this one."

The win was the Kings' first since a 3-2 overtime triumph Jan. 23 over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Los Angeles has not won two in a row since a three-game run from Dec. 31-Jan. 5, which included a sweep of a home-and-home series from Dallas.

Part of the Kings' recent struggles can be attributed to problems with special teams play. Los Angeles has given up at least one power-play goal in 10 straight games and have allowed 23 during that stretch - including a club-record five in a 5-1 loss Tuesday to the Minnesota Wild.

STANDINGS: Stars - 79 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Kings - 67 points, 2nd place, 12 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 26 goals; Sergei Zubov, 37 assists; Mike Modano, 53 points; Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott, 110 PIM. Kings - Pavol Demitra, 21 goals; Lubomir Visnovsky, 40 assists; Craig Conroy, 55 points; Sean Avery, 201 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Stars - Power play: 15.9 percent (57 for 359), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (292 for 349), 11th. Kings - Power play: 15.4 percent (60 for 391), 25th. Penalty killing: 78.0 percent (290 for 372), 29th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (29-14-3, 3 SO, 2.54 GAA); Hedberg (9-2-0, 0, 2.57). Kings - Mathieu Garon (21-15-3, 2, 3.04); Jason LaBarbera (9-8-2, 0, 3.20).

SEASON SERIES: Kings, 4-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 2; Kings, 3-2 (OT). At Los Angeles, Mattias Norstrom scored the game-winner on the power play 2:29 into overtime. Visnovsky scored two power-play goals for the Kings while Jussi Jokinen and Jon Klemm tallied for Dallas.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 18-6-2 on the road; Kings - 18-9-1 at home.

2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 01 '06DAL 0 at LAK 1J. Roenick
Mar 16 '06DAL 4 at LAK 1J. Arnott
Feb 12 '06DAL 5 at LAK 6D. Armstrong
Jan 02 '06DAL 2 at LAK 3 - OTM. Norstrom
Dec 31 '05LAK 3 at DAL 2T. Kostopoulos
Nov 02 '05LAK 6 at DAL 3L. Visnovsky
Oct 20 '05LAK 7 at DAL 2A. Frolov
Oct 05 '05LAK 4 at DAL 5P. Boucher
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%