Kings vs. Stars Preview
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The Pacific Division-leading Stars try to extend their winning streak to four on Monday night when they face the Kings, who go for their sixth straight victory in Dallas.
Since averaging 2.0 goals during a 1-3-1 skid to end 2010, Dallas (27-13-5) has outscored its opponents 23-9 during a 5-0-1 run. Defenseman Trevor Daley and James Neal each scored twice, and Jamie Benn, Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards and Stephane Robidas all tallied two assists to help the Stars match a season high for goals in Saturday's 6-1 victory over Atlanta.
According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Stars -132 money line favorites for Monday's game against the Kings. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 50% of more than 60 bets for this game have been placed on the Stars -132.
"We had pretty much everybody going tonight and it's nice when you have that, when people play with that type of spirit," coach Marc Crawford told the Stars' official website.
That kind of spirit has been absent against the division rival Kings (24-19-1) this season, with Los Angeles posting victories in both matchups.
Wayne Simmonds and Willie Mitchell both had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Quick stopped 30 shots as Los Angeles won its fifth in a row in Dallas, 5-2 on Oct. 28
The Kings have converted 5 of 18 on the power play and outscored the Stars 15-5 in these matchups at American Airlines Center. Los Angeles has an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) in Dallas since a 4-1 loss Dec. 13, 2007.
"Our team seems to come to play when we've been here,'' Quick, 4-1-0 with a 1.72 goals-against average in five starts visiting the Stars, said following the Oct. 28 victory.
The Kings, tied with San Jose with a division-low 49 points, go for another win in Dallas after ending an eight-game run at Staples Center on Saturday with a 5-2 victory over Western Conference-worst Edmonton.
Los Angeles earned just four of 16 possible points during the 17-day homestand and now play 13 of 16 on the road.
"You've got to win any way possible and stop the bleeding, otherwise it snowballs very quickly," said center Jarret Stoll, who had two goals in each of the club's victories on the homestand. "There's been a lot of losses here lately, but we're going in the right direction."
The Stars could have Kari Lehtonen in net as they try to equal a season-high seven-game point streak.
Lehtonen is 4-0-1 with a 1.77 GAA in his last five starts after making 29 saves on Saturday against his former team, but he is 0-2-0 with a 4.10 GAA versus the Kings this season. He turned away 26 shots in the teams' last matchup - a 3-1 loss in Los Angeles on Nov. 11.
In the Oct. 28 contest, Lehtonen was pulled in the third period after allowing four goals on 15 shots. Backup Andrew Raycroft, 4-0-0 with a 1.69 GAA in his last four starts, stopped all eight shots he faced in that contest in his first appearance with the Stars.
Whoever starts in net for Dallas will look for continued production from the club's power-play unit, which is 8 of 19 during its six-game point streak. The Stars have also killed 17 of 18 penalties during this stretch.
Los Angeles is 3 for 11 on the power play versus Dallas this season while surrendering just one power-play goal in 11 attempts.
Stars forward Loui Eriksson has a goal and 10 assists during a nine-game point streak, but he has no goals and two assists in 12 career home games against the Kings.