Stars-Kings Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 21, 2013

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 31: Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Kings defeated the Devils 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Kings have won five straight at home since losing to the Dallas Stars. The defending Stanley Cup champions have that defeat fresh in their minds as they host the Stars on Thursday night. Los Angeles (17-10-2) has taken the first three of this five-game homestand, and will now look to exact revenge on the last visiting team to win at Staples Center. Dallas (13-13-3) won 5-2 on March 7 in the only 2013 meeting between these Pacific Division rivals. "Dallas kicked our (butt) in here last time," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. Sutter voiced his displeasure with Jonathan Quick after that contest. Quick made 17 saves on 21 shots, as the Stars scored three times in the third period to snap a tie. Quick has a 3.13 goals-against average in his last five starts and has been splitting time with Jonathan Bernier, who is 1-2-1 with a 2.22 GAA in four career starts versus Dallas. Bernier improved to 7-2-0 with a 1.94 GAA this season with a career-high 40 saves Tuesday in a 3-2 home victory over Phoenix. Sutter continues to play it by ear as to who his goaltender will be on a nightly basis. "The way the schedule has been and with Quick's surgery last summer and his training, it's allowed us to play both guys, and we'll continue to do that," Sutter said. Drew Doughty ended his regular-season goal drought at 32 games Tuesday, doing so on his 65th shot of the season. "It was good to get that first one off my back," he said. "I'm kind of a streaky scorer, so I'm hoping I can get on a little roll now. I've had a lot of good chances, especially tonight - about five or six that could have gone in." Another Kings skater ended an 11-game goal drought when Dustin Penner scored for the first time since Feb. 25 with his second of the season. "He's accepted a little different role," Sutter said. "The best thing about Dustin Penner - he just wants to win. The best thing. It doesn't matter to him. That's what happens when you've won it twice. You start understanding it better." Los Angeles will be tasked with trying to slow down 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who scored twice in the first meeting. Jagr has a three-game point streak on the road with four goals and two assists. The veteran winger had a goal and two assists Wednesday as Dallas blew a third-period lead in a 4-3 loss at Colorado. "I don't think we realize that it's a playoff game for us," Jagr said. "Every game from now on is. We played like it was game No. 4." The Stars went 0 for 6 on the power play, and are 1 for 20 in their last five games. Forward Ray Whitney and defenseman Stephane Robidas both exited in the third period against the Avalanche. Whitney has an upper-body injury and Robidas was hit in the head by a puck. The Stars are 1-4-0 in the second half of back-to-back games. Kari Lehtonen, who made 30 saves Wednesday, has started both contests just once.
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