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Dallas Stars vs. Los Angeles Kings

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GAME: Dallas Stars (27-22-10-0) at Los Angeles Kings (22-16-14-7).

TIME: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

Even though the Dallas Stars haven't picked up a win in three games since the All-Star break, it's tough to blame Marty Turco.

The gutsy goaltender, suffering from a broken left foot, looks to extend his franchise record for consecutive games played to 33 when the Stars face the Los Angeles Kings.

The Stars, trailing the Kings by one point for second place in the Pacific Division, entered the All-Star break with eight victories in 10 games. However, Dallas is 0-2-1 since and 0-2 on its three-game road trip. The Stars lost 3-2 at Phoenix on Saturday and 3-1 at Anaheim on Monday.

Turco, whose 1.72 goals-against average last season set a modern NHL record, hadn't allowed three consecutive three-goal games mid-November. He stopped 22 of 24 shots Monday to fall to 7-3-2 with two shutouts since suffering the injury.

"When the game's on, it's not a problem," Turco said after Monday's loss. "It hasn't really been an issue for me, and it wasn't again tonight. And the less I talk about it, the better."

Turco can break Grant Fuhr's record of 79 games played in a single season if he appears in each of Dallas' final 23. With 3,384 minutes played, he could also shatter the NHL mark of 4,511 set by Columbus' Marc Denis last season.

"That broken foot is a non-factor. It's been a non-factor since it happened," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "It's nothing that's kept him out of a practice, out of a game, out of the All-Star game, nothing. He's been very solid for us for the last three months now."

Turco, in his fourth NHL season, has already eclipsed his minutes played total from last season, when he missed 18 games with a sprained right ankle.

"We expect that from him every night. We expect him to be up to the task," Tippett said. "He wants to be the guy every night. We talk about (a break), but he wants to be out there."

Dallas, 11-16-4 on the road, will be playing its final away game until March 7. The Stars head home Friday to begin a season-high eight-game homestand at the AmericanAirlines Center, where they are 16-6-6.

The Kings broke a three-game losing streak with a 1-1 tie against the New York Islanders on Monday.

Los Angeles managed just three shots during a two-man advantage for 1:54 late in the third period and was outshot 8-1 in overtime. The Kings hit the post late in the extra period, and Luc Robitaille missed an open net on a tip attempt.

"We had three forwards and one defenseman out there," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "We were outshot, but we had a couple of good chances too, and we weren't sitting back on the tie."

The draw concluded a seven-game road stretch for the Kings that began before the All-Star break. Los Angeles went 2-3-2 in those contests, and plays its next three at home, including matchups with the Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators.

STANDINGS: Stars - 64 points, 3rd place, 8 PB, Pacific Division. Kings - 65 points, 2nd place, 7 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Bill Guerin, 24 goals and 42 points; Sergei Zubov, 28 assists; Steve Ott, 121 PIM. Kings - Alexander Frolov, 19 goals; Zigmund Palffy, 25 assists and 41 points; Sean Avery, 214 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 16): Stars - Power play: 15.6 percent (37 for 237), 17th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (194 for 228), 11th. Kings - Power play: 13.9 percent (36 for 259), 26th. Penalty killing: 80.4 percent (213 for 265), 28th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (26-19-10, 5 SO, 2.11 GAA); Ron Tugnutt (1-3-0, 2.57). Kings - Roman Cechmanek (18-16-6, 5, 2.38); Cristobal Huet (4-6-8, 2, 2.62).

SEASON SERIES: Kings, 2-1-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 3; 2-2 tie. At Los Angeles, Martin Straka scored a short-handed goal with 22 seconds left in regulation to give the Kings the draw.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 11-16-4-0 on the road; Kings - 10-8-8-1 at home.


Associated Press
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