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Stars-Kings Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Dallas Stars (43-19-3) at Los Angeles Kings (36-26-5).

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

Though he leads the NHL in wins, Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco is having trouble beating the Los Angeles Kings.

Turco looks to end a personal four-game losing streak and earn his first career victory in Los Angeles when the Stars meet the Kings.

Turco's 34 wins are tops in the league, one more than Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff. Turco, though, has struggled all season against Los Angeles.

In the season opener Oct. 5, Turco allowed four first-period goals before the Stars rallied for a 5-4 win over the Kings. He was back in net against the Kings on Oct. 20, but was replaced by Johan Hedberg 8:33 into the game after giving up three goals in a 7-2 loss.

Turco allowed Los Angeles to build a 3-0 lead Dec. 31, and Dallas' third-period rally fell short in a 3-2 defeat. Three days later, he gave up Lubomir Visnovsky's tying goal with 27 seconds to play in regulation before Mattias Norstrom scored 2:29 into overtime and Dallas lost again, 3-2.

Turco suffered through his most frustrating performance against Los Angeles on Feb. 12 in the teams' last game before the Olympic break. In that contest at Staples Center, Turco gave up four goals - three in a 2:12 span - in the third period of a 6-5 loss.

He is 1-3-1 with a 4.57 goals-against average against the Kings this season, and 0-4 with one tie and an .887 save percentage in six career starts in Los Angeles.

Turco helped the Stars to a home-and-home sweep of the Canucks in their last two games, making 27 saves in a 4-2 win at Staples on Monday. Two days earlier, he stopped 18 shots in a 2-1 victory.

Turco has gone 5-1 with a 1.98 GAA in Dallas' last six games. The only defeat was by a 1-0 score at Calgary last Thursday.

Stars leading scorer Mike Modano had three goals and two assists in the wins over the Canucks. Four of his 24 goals this season have come against the Kings.

Los Angeles had center Pavol Demitra back in the lineup Tuesday for the first time since taking a puck to face in last month's Olympics, but lost for the third time in four games, 6-2 to Phoenix.

The Kings were without center Craig Conroy, who had some residual bleeding behind his left eye after being hit in the face with a puck in a 4-3 loss to San Jose on Monday. They also are still without left wing Alexander Frolov, who separated his shoulder at the Turin Games.

Jeff Cowan and Luc Robitaille scored for Los Angeles, which is in sixth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Edmonton and Vancouver.

"We came out and seemed to play well the first five minutes, but then we started making bad mental errors," Robitaille said. "We got caught making some stupid, stupid mistakes. And it cost us dearly, because this was a game we had to win."

Robitaille, the Kings' all-time leading scorer, has two goals and four assists in five games this season against Dallas.

STANDINGS: Stars - 89 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Kings - 77 points, 2nd place, 12 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 29 goals; Sergei Zubov, 48 assists; Modano, 63 points; Brenden Morrow, 152 PIM. Kings - Mark Parrish, 25 goals; Visnovsky, 43 assists and 60 points; Sean Avery, 227 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Stars - Power play: 16.4 percent (67 for 409), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.2 percent (333 for 400), 12th. Kings - Power play: 15.2 percent (67 for 441), 25th. Penalty killing: 78.5 percent (322 for 410), 29th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (34-16-3, 3 SO, 2.57 GAA); Hedberg (9-3-0, 2.75). Kings - Mathieu Garon (27-18-3, 2, 3.08); Jason LaBarbera (9-8-2, 3.29).

SEASON SERIES: Kings, 5-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 12; Kings, 6-5. At Los Angeles, Demitra finished with a goal and three assists, and Derek Armstrong's power-play goal with 6:26 left capped the four-goal third period for the Kings.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 21-9-2 on the road; Kings - 21-10-1 at home.

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