Despite High Price and No Modano Bettors Like Stars Print
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Monday, 15 January 2007 07:00
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NHL Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Dallas Stars - Stars Favored

Team Page: Los Angeles :: Dallas

69% of Bets Placed on Stars -201 | Matchup | Goalies
Dallas didn't need an ailing Mike Modano in December to continue its winning streak against the Los Angeles Kings. A few more injuries, though, could make it much more difficult for the Stars to keep the run going.

The Stars will again be without Modano, along with a number of his teammates, as they try to end a three-game losing streak and defeat the Kings for the sixth time in as many meetings this season Monday.

Oddsmakers have made Dallas -201 money line (NHL Odds)

favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 total goals (View NHL Sports Books).

Dallas (26-18-1) was without five regulars as it lost 5-1 to Anaheim on Thursday night.

Modano, the team's offensive catalyst, missed his 18th consecutive game with a hip/groin injury and will be out until after the All-Star break. Also missing for the Stars were defenseman Darryl Sydor (upper body injury) and forwards Brenden Morrow (wrist), Steve Ott (ankle) and Matthew Barnaby (concussion).

"We have people in positions that are over their heads," said Stars coach Dave Tippett, whose team is in danger of dropping four in a row for the first time since a five-game skid from Nov. 30-Dec. 10, 2003. "Our young players aren't good enough right now."

On Sunday, Dallas placed Barnaby on the injured reserve list, along with defenseman Sergei Zubov (elbow) and goaltender Mike Smith (concussion). Zubov is expected to miss three games, while Barnaby and Smith will be out a week.

Sydor is closest to returning. He is listed as day-to-day and practiced Friday. Ott has been progressing, but isn't expected back until after the All-Star break. Morrow is out indefinitely.

Dallas figured to miss Modano in its last game against Los Angeles (16-24-6), as his 34 goals against the Kings are his most against any team. The Stars, though, prevailed without Modano and Ott and beat the Kings 4-3 on Dec. 16, improving to 5-0-0 against Los Angeles this season.

Los Angeles' last win against Dallas was 1-0 on April 1. The Kings' last victory in Dallas was 3-2 on Dec. 31, 2005.

Philippe Boucher, who spent parts of eight seasons with Los Angeles before signing with Dallas as a free agent in July 2002, has scored five of his 13 goals this season against the Kings, including a hat trick Nov. 24.

Los Angeles is coming off a 6-5 loss at St. Louis on Saturday night.

Kings goalie Yutaka Fukufuji became the first Japanese-born player in the NHL when he started the third period against the Blues. Fukufuji replaced Barry Brust, who allowed five goals in the first two periods.

"I was so nervous," said the 24-year-old Fukufuji, who allowed one goal on five shots. "This was my first time playing in the NHL. I was so nervous but I was excited, too."

He was recalled Friday on an emergency basis after Mathieu Garon was placed on injured reserve with a finger injury. Fukufuji became the first Japanese native to dress for an NHL game in the Dec. 16 matchup with Dallas, another emergency stint.

Rob Blake scored two goals for the Kings on Saturday. He has two goals and two assists in his last three games against the Stars.

by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us

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