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Stars-Kings Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Tuesday, January 19

9:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (29-12-5) lost 4-3 in overtime at San Jose Saturday. The Stars overcame one-goal deficits twice in the third period to force extra playing time, but San Jose’s Tomas Hertl scored at 1:12 of overtime to hand the Stars their sixth loss in the past seven games (1-4-2).

“It was a good point for us. We played a heck of a third period,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “That looked more like us.”

The Stars lost defenseman Jordie Benn to a lower-body injury in the game. The Stars placed Benn on injured reserve Monday and recalled defenseman Esa Lindell from the Texas Stars of the AHL.

Tuesday’s game wraps up a three-game road trip for the Stars, who have lost seven straight (0-4-3) away from home.

Injuries: Jordie Benn (lower body) is on injured reserve.

The Kings (28-13-3) won 3-2 at Anaheim Sunday. Anze Kopitar, who signed an eight-year, $80 million contract extension on Saturday, registered one goal and one assist and Vincent Lecavalier, recently acquired from Philadelphia, scored for the second straight game. The Kings bounced back from a 5-3 loss to Ottawa the night before in which they blew a 3-1 third-period lead.

“We played a really good two periods yesterday [against Ottawa]. Everybody’s playing playoff hockey now. If you want to make the playoffs, it’s the same thing. We’re trying to make the playoffs,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter told “A little bit too much talk around our team the last couple weeks about new players and contracts and all that. You know what? We’re trying to make the playoffs. We were playing tonight a team that won the division last year and went to the conference finals, so to think that you’re going to have momentum the whole game or anything like that, it’s not. We have a lot of guys in here that still have a lot to learn about being a playoff player. In fact, we have a lot of guys that haven’t played a playoff game.”

The Kings, who have a ten-point lead in the Pacific Division, are 8-2-1 in their past eleven games.

Injuries: D Matt Greene (shoulder) and F Kyle Clifford (lower body) are on injured reserve.

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

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

*The Stars are 6-1-1 in their past eight games in Los Angeles.

*The Stars are 6-2-3 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Kings are 6-2-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars lead the NHL in goal scoring (3.30 per game).

*The Kings rank second in goals against (2.20 per game).

*The Kings lead the league in shots attempts for/against percentage (58.27).

*The Stars rank fourth in shot attempts for/against percentage (53.95).

*The Kings are 11-34 (32.4 percent) on the power play over the past eleven games.

*The Stars are 5-28 (17.9 percent) on the power play over the past eleven games.

*Jamie Benn leads the Stars in goals (26) and points (56).

*Tyler Toffoli leads the Kings in goals (22) and Anze Kopitar leads the Kings in points (38).

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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