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Stars look to build home winning streak vs. Kings

by Steve Hunt

KINGS (11-5-4) at STARS (7-9-4)


DALLAS -- Two days removed from snapping a seven-game home losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes at American Airlines Center, the Dallas Stars now seek their first back-to-back home victories when they play the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

The Stars (7-9-4) have already faced the Kings twice in November, losing 3-1 in Dallas on Nov. 4 but prevailing 2-0 at Staples Center on Nov. 13.

Dallas coach Lindy Ruff expects another tough game on Saturday, the third game of a five-game homestand for the Stars.

"I think they're a real good team at getting around the net. They go hard to the net," Ruff said. "Every line plays the same and I think that physically we got to be up for that challenge."

Ruff is keeping three of his forward lines intact from the win against Arizona, but on the fourth line left wing Curtis McKenzie, a healthy scratch against the Coyotes, will skate on the right side with left wing Erik Cole and center Shawn Horcoff.

The Dallas defensive pairings are shuffled after the Stars traded Brenden Dillon to the San Jose Sharks on Friday afternoon for Jason Demers.

"I like his game," Ruff said of Demers. "I like his puck-moving ability, his defensive game. I think he reads the game well. I think some people would think he's more of on the offensive side. I consider him a good defender."

Dallas' first pairing will consist of Alex Goligoski and John Klingberg, a rookie who scored his first NHL goal on Thursday. Trevor Daley and Demers comprise the second pair while the third pair is Jyrki Jokipakka and Jamie Oleksiak.

Demers is looking forward to making his Dallas debut and also to skating alongside Daley, someone he has faced countless times in his career.

"I like how he plays," Demers said. "Hopefully, we can form a good tandem."

Goalie Kari Lehtonen was first off the ice for Dallas and will start a seventh consecutive game.

The Kings (11-5-4) arrive in Dallas on a three-game winning streak. Los Angeles is just 1-3-3 on the road, but that lone win came in Dallas earlier this month.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter, who will coach his 200th game with Los Angeles on Saturday, is keeping his forward lines and defensive pairs the same from a 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Since the Kings have already faced the Stars twice this month, Sutter is quite familiar with Dallas, including the fact the Stars have added two right-handed defensemen this month with the call-up of Klingberg from Texas of the American Hockey League on Nov. 10 and the acquisition of Demers.

"Lefty/righty, guys are on their forehand more. It's a pretty common theme in our game," Sutter said. "Anytime you have that forehand play, especially with the way teams forecheck now, you're always in a better position."

Goalie Jonathan Quick was first off the ice for the Kings and will start a fourth consecutive game.

Here are the projected lineups:


Marian GaborikAnze KopitarTrevor Lewis

Dwight KingJeff CarterTyler Toffoli

Dustin BrownJarret StollJustin Williams

Kyle CliffordMike RichardsTanner Pearson

Jake MuzzinDrew Doughty

Brayden McNabbMatt Greene

Robyn RegehrJamie McBain

Jonathan Quick

Martin Jones

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Jordan Nolan.

Injured: Alec Martinez (finger)

Suspended: Slava Voynov


Jamie BennCody Eakin - Tyler Seguin

Antoine RousselJason SpezzaAles Hemsky

Travis MoenVernon FiddlerPatrick Eaves

Erik Cole - Shawn HorcoffCurtis McKenzie

Alex GoligoskiJohn Klingberg

Trevor DaleyJason Demers

Jyrki JokipakkaJamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Anders Lindback

Scratched: Jordie Benn, Colton Sceviour.

Injured: Ryan Garbutt (upper body), Patrik Nemeth (arm), Valeri Nichushkin (hip/groin).

Status report: Benn is a healthy scratch for a second straight game. … Sutter said after the morning skate that Martinez is skating but is not close to returning.

Who's hot: Seguin continues to lead the NHL with 14 goals. … Hemsky has three assists in his past four games. … Doughty, Muzzin and Williams are each currently carrying three-game assist streaks. … Quick currently ranks second in the League with a .938 save percentage.

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