Kings-Stars Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 31, 2013
After missing a prime chance to stay unbeaten on their road trip, the Los Angeles Kings will try to bounce back by continuing their recent success in Dallas. The Stars, though, have won the two matchups with the Kings this season and have found their scoring touch in recent home games. Dallas will try to continue that trend while seeking its fourth victory in five games Sunday night. Los Angeles (19-12-3) seemed to be heading to a 3-0-0 start on its five-game trip when it held a two-goal lead over Minnesota on Saturday, but the Kings blew that advantage in a 4-3 shootout loss. "It was a sloppy game from us," forward Justin Williams said. "That's certainly not the way we intended to play the game, but somewhere along the way we lost our way and let a team back in a game we had full control of." The loss denied Los Angeles the chance to move seven points ahead on a playoff berth. Dallas is tied for ninth with 35 points and one behind St. Louis in eighth. "You're up 3-1 and you give up two points. That's not what you want to do," Quick said. "We're just trying to climb the standings and trying to win games every time you're out there. You're not looking at possible playoff standings, you're just trying to climb them." The Kings would appear to have a good chance to bounce back as they're 10-1-2 in their last 13 games in Dallas. Los Angeles, though, will also face a Stars team that's tallied 18 goals while winning three of four at home. Dallas (16-14-3) scored three goals in the third period, including two on the power play, en route to a 5-3 victory over Minnesota on Friday. "It was real big for us," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I thought we were more focused and determined to play a direct game from the beginning. ... I just think we played with more grit. We capitalized on our power plays and those were the things that we didn't do in the third (in Monday's 7-4 loss to Minnesota)." Gulutzan's team has also outscored the Kings 7-2 in two matchups earlier this month, including a 2-0 road victory March 21. Veterans Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney scored third-period goals and Kari Lehtonen made a season-high 40 saves in his only shutout in 2012-13. Lehtonen didn't need to be as precise on March 7 as Jagr's two goals led the way in a 5-2 victory in Los Angeles. The winger recorded his 1,000th career assist and extended a five-game point streak in Friday's win. The league's eighth all-time leading scorer has four goals and four assists during that run. Defenseman Alex Goligoski will try to add to his recent production against Los Angeles. He has one goal and six assists in his last four matchups, while the Kings' Mike Richards has three goals and seven assists in six career games in Dallas.
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