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Stars-Kings Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Saturday, April 2

3:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (47-22-9) won their third straight game, defeating the Arizona Coyotes, 4-1, at American Airlines Center Thursday. Jamie Benn scored his 40th goal of the season, becoming the first Stars player to score 40 since Mike Modano tallied 50 in 1993-94.

“That’s a tough mark to get to in today’s games,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “There are not a lot of players who are going to get there, so it’s pretty special. It’s a heck of a year so far for him.”

The Stars, who are in first place in the Central Division and Western Conference, are 6-1-0 in their past seven games and 9-2-2 in their past 13 games.

Stars defenseman John Klingberg (maintenance) did not practice Friday. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said that defenseman Kris Russell (lower body) and right wing Brett Ritchie (lower body) would not travel on the road trip.

Saturday’s game begins a two-game road trip for the Stars, their final trip of the regular season.

Injuries: D Kris Russell (lower body), RW Brett Ritchie (lower body), C Tyler Seguin (Achilles) and D Jason Demers (shoulder) are out.

The Kings (46-26-5) are coming off a 3-0 victory over Calgary Thursday at Staples Center. Jeff Carter tallied two goals and one assist, and Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots for his fifth shutout of the season as the Kings moved ahead of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division.

"It's going in the right direction," Carter told "We want to finish first. We want home ice. We've got five games left here. We know what we have to clean up, and we'll continue to work on it."

The win was just the second in the past six games (2-4-0) for the Kings, who tied the franchise mark for wins in a season (46).

Saturday’s game wraps up a two-game homestand for Los Angeles.

Injuries: F Kris Versteeg (lower body) is day to day. F Marian Gaborik (knee), F Jordan Nolan (back) and D Matt Greene (shoulder) are out.

*This is the third and final meeting between the Stars and Kings.

*The Stars are 0-2-0 in the season series.

*The Kings are 2-0-0.

*Jan. 19, at Los Angeles: Kings 3, Stars 2

*Mar. 15: at Dallas: Kings 5, Stars 2

*The Stars are 10-6-3 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Kings are 10-7-2 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 16-8-4 since the All-Star break.

*The Kings are 16-10-2 since the break.

*The Stars lead the league in goal scoring (3.26 per game).

*The Kings rank second in goals against (2.31 per game).

*The Stars rank second in shots per game (32.1).

*The Kings rank third in shots against per game (27.5).

*The Kings rank first in shot attempts % close, a measure of possession (57.6).

*The Stars rank fourth in shot attempts % close (53.22).

*Stars forward Ales Hemsky is on a six-game points streak (two goals, five assists).

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has scored four goals in the past three games.

*Kings forward Jeff Carter has scored four goals in the past three 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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