GAME: Dallas Stars (17-17-6-0) at Los Angeles Kings (16-13-5-4).
TIME: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
The Los Angeles Kings are hoping their first game of the new year will bring
an end to a season-high seven-game winless streak.
Los Angeles went 0-2-4-1 to end December, including a 4-0 loss at Phoenix on
Wednesday that gave the Coyotes their first win in three tries at brand new
Glendale Arena. The Kings found themselves at a disadvantage for most of the
night as they killed off nine of 10 power-play chances by Phoenix.
"We didn't give ourselves a good chance to win with the amount of penalties
we took," Kings captain Mattias Norstrom said.
Milan Hnilicka stopped 31 shots in his first start for the Kings, who
acquired him from Atlanta for future considerations on Sept. 15 and kept him in
the minors until last Friday. Los Angeles was forced to acquire Hnilicka when
Roman Cechmanek was placed on injured reserve with a hip injury Dec. 21.
On the bright side for Los Angeles, defenseman Brad Norton made his season
debut Wednesday after missing 37 gave with a lacerated forearm suffered in an
The Stars are winless in their last three games (0-1-2), including Friday's
embarrassing 6-0 home loss to Phoenix.
Dallas coach Dave Tippett intended to give regular starting goalie Marty
Turco a rare night off, but instead pulled backup Ron Tugnutt late in the first
period after he gave up two goals on seven shots.
Turco didn't fare much better, finishing with 15 saves on 19 shots and
giving up two questionable goals.
"We were hoping (Tugnutt) could jump in and give us a spark, but we got
down early and we wanted to change the momentum by putting Marty in," Tippett
The Stars gave up two power-play goals after killing off 41 straight
penalties over their previous 11 games.
Dallas captain Mike Modano left Friday's game with a lower body injury after
being hit by teammate Bill Guerin's shot with eight minutes left in the third
period. He did not return.