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Stars-Kings Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Tuesday, March 15

7:30 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (41-20-9) lost 5-4 in overtime to St. Louis Saturday night at American Airlines Center. The Stars rallied from two goals down in the third period to force extra time and pick up one point. The Stars earned three of four points in back-to-back games against Chicago and St. Louis over the weekend.

“The boys played a hell of a hockey game,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “These games have been like playoff games. The team sold out to try and win these games, and we got three out of four points. They showed a lot of heart.”

The Stars have points in five straight games (3-0-2).

Stars forward Patrick Sharp, who has missed the past five games with a lower-body injury, practiced Monday. He is questionable for Tuesday.

Tuesday’s game is the third of a five-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: RW Patrick Sharp (lower body) is questionable. D John Klingberg (lower body), D Jordie Benn (lower body), C Mattias Janmark (upper body) and D Jason Demers (shoulder) are out.

The Kings (41-22-5) won 5-0 at Chicago Monday night. Kris Versteeg and Milan Lucic scored goals 18 seconds apart in the first period to give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead and the Kings never looked back, adding another goal in the second and two more in the third. Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots for his 41st career shutout, most by a U.S.-born goaltender in NHL history.

“Awesome. Just awesome,” Lucic told NBCSN about Quick’s play. “On their first [power play] he made some huge saves to keep us in it. He sets a new record for American-born goaltenders with the shutout. Congrats to him. Hopefully, he keeps his game up in the most important time of the year.”

The Kings have points in four straight games (3-0-1) and are 8-2-1 in their past eleven games.

Tuesday’s game wraps up a two-game road trip for Los Angeles.

Injuries: F Marian Gaborik (knee), F Jordan Nolan (undisclosed) and D Matt Greene (shoulder) are on injured reserve.

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

*The Kings won the first meeting, 3-2, in Los Angeles on January 19.

*The Stars have won three of the past four games against the Kings at American Airlines Center.

*The Stars lead the NHL in goal scoring at 3.21 per game.

*The Kings lead the NHL in goals against at 2.24 per game.

*The Kings have allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of their past 14 games.

*The Stars have scored three goals or more in 14 of their past 20 games.

*The Kings lead the NHL in shot attempts % close (57.52).

*The Stars rank third in shot attempts % close (53.67).

*The Stars have scored on the power play in four straight games and are 5-14 (35.7 percent) during that stretch. They are 10-33 (30.3 percent) on the power play over the past ten games.

*The Stars have killed 20 straight opposition power plays. The Dallas penalty kill is 31-34 (91.2 percent) over the past ten games.

*Stars center Jason Spezza is on a six-game goal scoring streak and has ten goals in his past ten games.

*Kings center Vincent Lecavalier has three goals in the past four games.

*The Stars are 10-6-4 since the All-Star break.

*The Kings are 11-6-2 since the break.

*The Stars are 8-4-3 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Kings are 9-4-2 vs. the Central Division.

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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