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Kings and Stars go for back-to-back wins

by Davis Harper

KINGS (11-7-3) at STARS (12-8-0)

TV: FS-West (HD), FS-Southwest (HD)

Last 10 : Los Angeles 5-4-1; Dallas 5-5-0

Season Series : This is the third of six meetings between these Pacific Division rivals. The Kings are 2-0 this season and 11-2-1 in the last 15 games.

Big Story : Both teams come into the game off victories. Los Angeles handed St. Louis its first loss under new coach Ken Hitchcock on Tuesday night, winning 3-2 in St. Louis. Dallas snapped a five-game skid Monday by beating Edmonton 4-1, holding the Oilers to a single goal just a game after they pinned nine on Chicago.

Team Scope :

Kings : At St. Louis, the Kings did a fine job cleaning up the mental mistakes - giveaways, lack of motivation - and poor special-teams play that cost them in Saturday's 4-1 loss to Detroit at home. Los Angeles had only three giveaways, Anze Kopitar converted a power-play opportunity and the Kings killed off all six Blues power plays. Best of all, the one-two center punch of Kopitar and Flyer transplant Mike Richards is finally hitting its stride.

"I think trying to get adjusted to the new team, and sometimes I think you try to make too many plays when things like that happen," said Richards, who had a goal and assisted on Kopitar's in the win at St. Louis. "But I'm just trying to get the puck in the net as much as possible, and I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable with linemates, and just getting pucks to the net as much as possible is the biggest thing."

Stars : After getting off to their best start in five years, Dallas hit the skids with five straight losses leading into Monday's game against Edmonton. The Stars welcomed new owner Tom Gaglardi to American Airlines Arena with a huge 4-1 win, holding the high-powered Edmonton offense - the Oilers had a combined 15 goals in the games before and after their visit to Dallas - in check for 60 minutes. Offensively, Dallas matched its total output of the entire five-game losing streak.

"He spent a lot of money, so it's good we didn't disappoint him here at home the first game," captain Brenden Morrow said with a chuckle about playing for the first time in front of a new owner. "It's been a long time coming, and it feels good to get another win. We stuck to our structure and won the battle at the blue lines. We had some cycles going and got some scoring opportunities from it."

Who's Hot : Though he needed to make only 17 saves against Edmonton, Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen feeds off wins. He has compiled streaks of seven and four games this season - and leads the League with 12 wins. … Richards has seven goals in as many games.

Injury Report : Los Angeles forwards Scott Parse (lower body) and Dustin Penner (hand) and defenseman Alec Martinez (upper body) are on injured reserve. … For Dallas, defenseman Alex Goligoski will miss 3-4 weeks with a broken thumb, while winger Adam Burish (broken hand) is out for at least a month.

Stat Pack : Backup Jonathan Bernier got the win Tuesday in St. Louis, but look for usual starter Jonathan Quick to be back in the crease against Dallas. Quick is 12-3-0 lifetime with a 1.99 GAA against the Stars, the only team the goalie has beaten more than eight times in his career.

Puck Drop : "The guys were playing for themselves obviously, but we talked with [Stars owner Tom Gaglardi] this morning, and he had a great message for our guys. You could tell in the pregame skate that our guys were a little lighter on our feet and a little more confident. It's a nice way to start to own a hockey franchise." - Stars coach Glen Gulutzan on welcoming the new owner to Dallas with a win.

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