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Stars-Kings Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Los Angeles Kings at Dallas Stars

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (4-3-4) lost 4-1 at Minnesota, pushing their winless streak to four games (0-2-2). The Stars have managed just 42 shots on goal and two goals over their last two games.

“There is energy missing in our game. It is as simple as that,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We are getting beat to pucks. We are not winning enough of the small battles. It is as simple as that. The energy level of our team isn’t good enough to win games.”

The Stars will get their first look at the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings on Tuesday.

“Well, obviously Stanley Cup champions. They’ve struggled a little bit,” said Ruff. “The 70s line (Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli) has been good for them. We know that. So for me, I think it starts first we play well in our end and go out from there.”

Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin (hip/groin) and D Sergei Gonchar (ankle) both practiced Monday and are close to returning from their respective injuries. They are questionable for Tuesday. F Tyler Seguin (wisdom teeth) did not practice Monday but is expected to play. F Ales Hemsky, who left Saturday’s game with an upper body injury, practiced Monday and is expected to play.

Tuesday’s game begins a three-game homestand for the Stars, who are 1-0-4 at home this season.

Dallas assigned D Jyrki Jokipakka to Texas (AHL) on Monday.

Injuries: F Tyler Seguin (wisdom teeth) and F Ales Hemsky (upper body) are probable. F Valeri Nichushkin (hip/groin) and D Sergei Gonchar (ankle) are questionable. D Patrik Nemeth (arm) is out.

About the Kings

The Kings (6-4-2) are coming off a 3-2 loss at Carolina on Sunday. It was the third straight regulation loss for the Kings and pushed their winless streak to four games (0-3-1). For the ninth time in 12 games, the Kings scored two goals for fewer.

“We did a lot of good things," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "We've had trouble scoring, so just about every mistake you make is magnified. We weren't chasing the game. I thought we played a really good game."

Los Angeles forwards Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik returned from injury for Sunday’s game. Kopitar had been out three games and Gaborik had missed eight.

Tuesday’s game wraps up a five-game road trip for the Kings, who are 0-3-1 in the first four games of the trip.

Injuries: F Jordan Nolan (suspension), D Slava Voynov (suspension) and D Andrew Bodnarchuk (knee) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of three meetings between the Stars and Kings this season.

*The Stars were 2-1-0 (4 points) vs. the Kings last season.

*The Kings were 1-2-0 (2 points) vs. the Stars last season.

*The Stars are 107-73-42 all-time vs. Los Angeles.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 1-0-4 at home.

*The Kings are 0-3-2 on the road.

*The Kings have scored two goals or fewer in nine of their 12 games and rank 25th in the league in scoring at 2.25 goals per game.

*The Stars have allowed four goals or more in five of their 11 games and are tied for 27th in goals against at 3.46 per game.

*The Stars have been outscored 14-8 in third periods this season.

*The Kings have outscored their opponents 7-4 in third periods.

*The Kings are 5-0-0 when leading after two periods.

*The Stars are 2-0-2 when leading after two periods.

*The Kings are 5-0-1 when scoring first and 1-4-1 when allowing the first goal.

*The Stars are 2-1-2 when scoring first and 2-2-2 when allowing the first goal.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (7) and points (15).

*Tanner Pearson leads the Kings in goals (7).

*Tyler Toffoli leads the Kings in points (14).

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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