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Stars-Kings Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Los Angeles Kings

Thursday November 13, 2014
9:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Channel Guide)
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (5-6-4) snapped a seven-game winless streak with a 4-3 victory at Arizona on Tuesday. The Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit, lost a 3-2 third period lead and then won the game on Ryan Garbutt’s shorthanded goal with 1:16 remaining.

“It’s a big win,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “For Garbutt to score shorthanded and do it in the fashion he did, I’ve got to give the guys a lot of credit for fighting through it. It could have been another game where it turns and goes the wrong direction for us.”

Center Cody Eakin, who has missed the last three games with an upper body injury, practiced Wednesday, and could play Thursday. If Eakin does play, Ruff could reunite the Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Jason Spezza line.

Travis Moen, acquired Tuesday in a trade with Montreal, is still going through the immigration process. He may not join the team until it returns to Dallas on Friday.

Kari Lehtonen, who turned in a superb 33-save effort against Arizona on Tuesday, is the likely starter in goal against the Kings.

Injuries: C Cody Eakin (upper body) is questionable. RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip/groin) is out. D Patrik Nemeth (arm) is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.

About the Kings

The Kings (8-4-4) lost 6-5 in a shootout at Anaheim Wednesday night. The Kings squandered 2-0, 3-1 and 5-3 leads in the game. The Ducks outshot the Kings 49-26 in regulation and four-on-four overtime.

“I know you define it by goals having a lead, but we really never had the lead,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “If it wasn’t for [goaltender] Jonathan [Quick], it wasn’t even close. They’re a much better team than we are. They proved it last year and they did again tonight.

“I don’t think we had much energy, much focus, much execution. We used a short bench. Too bad actually we lost the shootout, because then Jonathan feels tough, right? He stood on his head to get us a point.”

With the point in Wednesday’s game, the Kings extended their points streak to four games (2-0-2).

Thursday’s game kicks off a four-game homestand for the Kings and continues a stretch of seven straight games in Southern California.

Injuries: D Robyn Regehr (leg), Andrew Bodnarchuk (knee) and D Slava Voynov (suspension) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the second of three meetings between the Stars and Kings.

*Los Angeles won the first meeting, 3-1, in Dallas on Nov. 4.

*The Stars are 5-1-1 in the last seven games in Los Angeles.

Statistical tidbits

*The Kings are 7-1-1 at home this season.

*The Stars are 4-3-0 on the road.

*The Kings are 1-1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

*The Kings lead the NHL with four shorthanded goals. Forward Tyler Toffoli has scored three of those shorthanded goals.

*The Kings are 1-24 on the power play over the last eight games.

*The Stars are 2-24 on the power play over the last six games.

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin has scored five goals over the past two games and is tied for the NHL lead with 12 goals in 15 games.

*Stars forward Antoine Roussel has picked up an assist in each of the last three games.

*Kings forwards Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik both have scored goals in consecutive 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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