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Stars-Kings Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Los Angeles Kings at Dallas Stars

Saturday November 22, 2014
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (7-9-4) snapped a seven-game home winless streak with a 3-1 win over Arizona Thursday. Trailing 1-0 after two periods, the Stars scored three unanswered goals in the third period for their first home win since Oct. 21.

“I don’t know if I can put it into words. I said the other night that I’d never been through anything like it, especially at home,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I’d been through some tough losing streaks on the road but not at home where probably half of the games we deserved to win. A couple of them we just made some tough plays that allowed the other team to win. Then we had a couple where we didn’t deserve to win. During that whole stretch, you couldn’t really break it down to one thing. It’s just tough when you go through that. Hopefully, this stretch of games can make us a stronger team and bring us closer together."

Saturday’s game is the third of a five-game homestand for the Stars, who are sitting in 12th place in the Western Conference one-quarter of the way through their season.

“I think we’re disappointed where we are. We expect to be better than where we are in the standings,” said center Jason Spezza. “I think our game has to continue to develop. I think we’ve shown spurts and signs of being a good team and shown times of not playing with any confidence and being too tight. I think we can all be a little bit better. We have a lot of time left here in the season to try to do that.”

The Stars acquired D Jason Demers and a third-round pick in 2016 from San Jose Friday in exchange for D Brenden Dillon. Demers is expected to play Saturday vs. Los Angeles.

The Stars announced Friday that C Jason Spezza signed a four-year, $30 million contract extension.

The Stars will recognize Mike Modano for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame prior to Saturday’s game.

Injuries: LW Ryan Garbutt (upper body), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Kings

The Kings (11-5-4) won their third straight game, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, at Staples Center Thursday night. Tanner Pearson’s goal early in the second period – 38 seconds after Carolina scored to make it 2-2 – snapped the tie and held up as the game-winner. It was the third straight win for the Kings, who have points in seven of their last eight games (5-1-2).

“Tonight was the 20th game which is basically the quarter pole, so you want to see where you’re at after 20 games in terms of where the league sets up and the way the conference sets up,” said Kings coach Darryl Sutter. “We’ve accomplished what we wanted in the first 20 and now we’ll start working on the next. … [We want to accomplish] the same thing we did in the first [20]. We want to be in a playoff spot.”

Saturday’s game kicks off a three-game road trip for the Kings, who will play nine of their next 12 games away from home.

Injuries: D Alec Martinez (finger) and D Slava Voynov (suspension) are 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.

*November 4, Los Angeles at Dallas: Kings 3, Stars 1

*November 13, Dallas at Los Angeles: Stars 2, Kings 0

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 2-5-4 at home.

*The Kings are 1-3-3 on the road. Their only road win is at Dallas.

*The Kings allow 1.46 goals per game at home and 3.29 goals per game on the road.

*The Kings are 6-12 (50 percent) on the power play in their past three games.

*The Stars have allowed a power play goal in three straight games and are 6-9 (66.7 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*The Stars are 0-11 on the power play over their past five games.

*Stars defenseman Jason Demers, acquired from San Jose on Friday, has played 16 games against Los Angeles in his career, registering five points (one goal, four assists) and a plus-eight rating.

*Tyler Seguin leads the NHL with 14 goals, and he ranks third in points (24).

*Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson co-lead the Kings in goals (8) and Toffoli leads the team in points (18).

*Toffoli leads the NHL in shorthanded goals (4).

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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