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Kings host Western's-best Stars in Saturday matinee

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


SEEING STARS: Tonight marks the third and final meeting with the Stars this season and Dallas’ second and final visit to STAPLES Center. The Stars are playing the first of a two-game road trip through Southern California; they’re coming off of a 4-1 over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night. The Kings are playing the final of a two-game home stand; they’re coming off of a 3-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

UNDER THE SUN: Today marks the Kings’ seventh and final afternoon home game on the 2015-’16 schedule. The Kings are 4-2-0 when playing under the sun at STAPLES Center this season, their two losses coming to the Ottawa Senators on January 16 and Anaheim Ducks on March 5.

LINEUP: The Kings held a full practice at the Toyota Sports Center on Friday afternoon, where the majority of the skate was spent on special teams, with no clear indications to any changes being made to the lineup used Thursday night. Kris Versteeg practiced with the team again and could possibly make a return Saturday afternoon. Jonathan Quick was the first goaltender to leave the ice and is expected to start in net.

FORWARDS

PEARSON – KOPITAR – BROWN
LUCIC – CARTER – TOFFOLI
KING – LECAVALIER – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – DOWD – ANDREOFF
(SHORE)

DEFENSEMEN

MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
SCUDERI – SCHENN
(MCBAIN)

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

THE LAST TIME AROUND: The Kings are 2-0-0 against the Stars in their two previous meetings with Dallas this season, winning 3-2 on January 19 at STAPLES Center, and 5-2 on March 15 at the American Airlines Center. Anze Kopitar (1G, 3A) leads all Kings players in points scored against the Stars this season with four, five different players have registered two points against Dallas. Jonathan Quick and Jhonas Enroth have each made one start against the Stars; Quick stopped 27 of 29 on January 19, Enroth 24 of 26 on March 15.

WESTERN SHOOTOUT: The Kings must win Saturday afternoon to have any shot of catching Dallas for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Stars, with four games remaining on their schedule, have 103 points. The Kings have one game in-hand on Dallas and come into the day with 97 points. With a regulation win, the Kings can pull to within four points of the Stars

TAKE OFFENSE: The Stars come into the afternoon with NHL’s top-ranked offense, averaging 3.26 goals per game, fresh off of Jamie Benn scoring his 40th goal of the season on Thursday, the first Stars player to reach that mark in a single season since Mike Modano. The Kings have held Benn scoreless in two games this season, and he has a -4 rating. The Kings ranked second in the NHL in defense, allowing just 2.31 goals per game. Dallas will be without Tyler Seguin, who put up 73 points (33G, 40A) before going down with an achilles injury on March 17.

MILESTONE MANIA: The Kings can set a franchise record for wins in a single season if they can register their 47th victory of the campaign this afternoon. The Kings have won 46 games during four prior seasons: 1990-’91, 2009-’10, 2010-’11, 2013-’14. Jonathan Quick can set a franchise, and personal record for wins by a Kings goaltender during a single season if he can record his 40th victory today. Quick set a Kings record in 2009-’10 when he won 39 games in 72 appearances.

SELLING OUT: Today will mark the Kings’ 200th-consecutive sellout at STAPLES Center, including playoffs. The streak began on December 3, 2011 when the Kings hosted the Montreal Canadiens.

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 12:30PM PST on Fox Sports West, followed with Nick Nickson and Jim Fox on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop just after 1:00. You can listen to Jon Rosen and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.

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