Tonight marks the first of three meetings with the Stars this season, and the first of Dallas’ two visits to STAPLES Center. The Stars are playing the final of a three-game road trip where they’ve gone 0-1-1 thus far, they’re coming off of a 4-3 OT loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. The Kings are playing the first of a two-game home stand, they’re coming off of a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.
LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of tonight’s game. Jeff Carter was moved back to right wing, where he’ll play on the second line with Tanner Pearson and Vincent Lecavalier. Marian Gaborik will play on the fourth line with Andy Andreoff and Nick Shore. Jordan Nolan and Christian Ehrhoff stayed on for extra work and are the presumed healthy scratches. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and will start in goal.
LUCIC – KOPITAR – TOFFOLI
PEARSON – LECAVALIER – CARTER
KING – LEWIS – BROWN
ANDREOFF – SHORE – GABORIK
MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MARTINEZ – SCHENN
MUZZIN – MCBAIN
KARI ON: The Kings will see Kari Lehtonen in Dallas’ crease tonight, the Stars goaltender set to make his 21st start of the season. Lehtonen comes into the night with a 13-4-0 record, posting a .909 SV% and a 2.80 GAA. Lehtonen’s last start came on Friday against Anaheim, where he surrendered four goals on 35 shots in the Stars’ 4-1 loss. Lehtonen started all three games against the Kings last season, he has a 12-8-1 record in 22 career starts against Los Angeles.
JANUARY DOWN: Dallas, one of, if not the NHL’s hottest team for most of the first half of the season, has sputtered through January, going 1-4-2 during the month so far. The Stars have allowed four goals or more in four of their six losses during that span. Dallas comes into the night still with the NHL’s most potent offense, averaging a league-best 3.30 goals per game, totaling 152 on the season to date.
STAR-WATCH: Dallas’ Jamie Benn (56 PTS) and Tyler Seguin (53 PTS) are number two and three in the NHL for points scored this season. Seguin registered three points (1G, 2A) in three games against the Kings last season, Benn four (2G, 2A). Seguin has been held to just three points (1G, 2A) in seven games during Dallas’ January slide, Benn four (2G, 2A). Can the Kings keep Dallas’ star forwards off the board tonight?
THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings went 1-2-0 in their three meetings with the Stars last season, going 1-1-0 at Dallas’ American Airlines Arena and 0-1-0 at STAPLES Center. The Stars shutout the Kings in their only visit to Los Angeles last season in a 2-0 win. Jamie Benn was the leading scorer for both teams in their season series last year, registering four points (2G, 2A).
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 7:00 PM PST on Fox Sports West, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call for puck drop just after 7:30. As always, you can listen to Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.