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Kings conclude trip with a visit to Dallas

by John Kreiser

KINGS (6-3-0) at STARS (5-3-0)

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

Season series -- The Kings come to American Airlines Center for the first of six meetings with their Pacific Division rivals. L.A. won five of the six games last season, including all three in Dallas.

Big story -- The Kings come to Dallas after a disappointing loss 3-1 at Chicago on Wednesday, a game in which they dominated for long stretches but couldn't turn chances into goals. It's the same kind of game the Stars lost on Tuesday -- they outplayed Anaheim for much of the night, especially in the first two periods, but wound up with a 5-2 loss.

Team Scope:

Kings -- Justin Williams had the Kings' lone goal in the loss at Chicago. The Kings didn't lack for chances, especially in the last two periods, but couldn't find a way to get another puck past Marty Turco.

"We had our chances," coach Terry Murray said. "In the latter part of the second and early part of the third, there were excellent looks. They either had people in position or the goaltender made the stop. Sometimes you get second and third whacks at it, and it doesn't bounce the right way for you."

Stars -- Center Tom Wandell, who missed the end of last season with a knee injury, has teamed with Jamie Benn and Steve Ott to give the Stars an effective third line. He scored twice in a recent 4-1 win at Florida, and the trio has checked effectively while providing some offense.

"He had a great breakout game for us in Florida and we're starting to see his speed now," Stars coach Marc Crawford told the team's website. "We're starting to see him floating on his skates again, which we saw so much in the last 20 games that he played last year. We're excited about Tom Wandell, we're excited about his talent. We can't lose sight of the fact that he's really still in the infancy of his career."

Who's hot -- Likely starter Jonathan Quick is 5-1-0 with a 1.95 goals-against average in the early going for the Kings. He's 6-2-0 against Dallas in his career. … Brad Richards leads the Stars with 11 points in eight games, and linemate Loui Eriksson is tops with 5 goals, including one against the Ducks.

Injury report -- Los Angeles is without star defenseman Drew Doughty, who is on injured reserve after suffering a concussion last week against Carolina. …The Stars have no significant injuries to report.

Stat pack -- Both teams enter the game having scored 26 goals and allowed 22. … The Kings have won their last four trips to Dallas (two in regulation, one in OT, one in a shootout) while allowing just one power-play goal in 17 tries.

Puck drop -- It's the finale of a five-game road trip for the Kings, who've split the first four even while playing without Doughty, their best defenseman. The Stars have cooled down after a fast start largely because they've been unable to put the puck in the net -- they've scored just two goals while dropping their last two games. If the Stars hope to make the playoffs, they need to turn things around after dropping the first two games of a six-game homestand.

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