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Stars-Kings Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Los Angeles Kings at Dallas Stars

Tuesday, December 31
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-12-7) are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center on Sunday. The Stars rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime, where St. Louis won on a power play goal with 10.4 seconds remaining.

“It was an important point to come back and get,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “The game could’ve went the other way when it was 2-0, and you’ve got to give our guys a lot of credit for battling back and we got a point out of it and we move a point up in the standings.”

The Stars have points in six straight games (4-0-2) and sit two points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are 1-0-1 in the first two games of their five-game homestand.

Tuesday’s game will be their second in the last nine days against the Kings, a team they defeated, 5-2, in Los Angeles last week.

“We’ve had Santa come in that time and everything. So much time has passed since that game,” Ruff joked. “I look at it as their opportunity to answer back. I think that is going to be sitting in the back of their minds, what happened in LA and that will be added incentive. I know we are going to have to be on top of our game because they’re a good team. They’re playing [Monday night], we get to watch them, we’ll be sitting here rested and that will be a little bit of an advantage to us on that part of the schedule.”

Stars forward Shawn Horcoff did not practice Monday, but is expected to be ready to play Tuesday.

Injuries: D Sergei Gonchar (concussion-like symptoms), D Trevor Daley (ankle) and D Stephane Robidas (leg) are out.

About the Kings

The Kings (25-11-4) lost their third straight game, falling 1-0 at Chicago Monday night. Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad scored the only goal of the game, tallying off the rush at 7:05 of the first period.

“Just a broken play and their guy was able to pick up the loose puck,” Kings goaltender Martin Jones told “That’s the difference in the hockey game right there, a broken play like that. The little things make a big difference.”

Said Kings coach Darryl Sutter, “I’m not going to lose any sleep over how we played.”

The three-game losing streak is the longest of the season for the Kings, who will try to get back on track Tuesday night in Dallas.

“Same type of performance. Try and score on some of your opportunities. It’s not that hard to figure out,” Sutter said.

Injuries: G Jonathan Quick (groin) is out.

Series Notes

*This is the third and final meeting between the Stars and Kings this season.

*Both teams are 1-1-0 in the season series.

*October 19, Dallas at Los Angeles: Kings 5, Stars 2

*December 23, Dallas at Los Angeles: Stars 5, Kings 2

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 3-0-1 in their last four games at home.

*The Kings are 0-3-0 in their last three games on the road.

*The Kings are 4-2-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

*The Kings are 1-14 on the power play over the last seven games.

*The Stars are 3-27 on the power play over their last seven games.

*The Kings rank second in the NHL in faceoffs at 53.8 percent.

*The Stars are 12th in faceoffs at 51.4 percent.

*The Stars are 8-2-2 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Kings are 5-6-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 9-4-2 on New Year’s Eve since moving to Dallas.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has six points (four goals, two assists) over the last six games.

*Stars forward Erik Cole has six points (three goals, three assists) over the last six games.

*Kings forward Jeff Carter has ten points (five goals, five assists) over the last nine games.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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