(SportsNetwork.com) – The Dallas Stars will try to build off their first
victory since late October on Thursday night as they visit the Los Angeles
The Stars halted a seven-game losing streak (0-5-2) with Tuesday’s 4-3
decision over the Arizona Coyotes, but it wasn’t easy.
The Coyotes tied the game with 3:43 left in regulation and then went on a
power play when Patrick Eaves was whistled for hi-sticking with 2:10 on the
However, Ryan Garbutt was able to chip the puck to himself off the boards to
get past the Arizona defense. He then raced down the right wing and cut in
front of the net before snapping home a go-ahead short-handed tally with 1:16
Tyler Seguin, coming off a hat trick in a loss to San Jose three days earlier,
had two goals, while Erik Cole added a goal in Dallas’ first win since Oct.
24. Kari Lehtonen made 33 saves.
“It’s a big win,” Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff said. “I have to give the guys
credit for fighting through it.”
Center Cody Eakin missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury,
but did practice on Wednesday. He could return tonight, though forward Travis
Moen, acquired from Montreal on Tuesday for defenseman Sergei Gonchar, may not
join the team until Friday due to immigration issues, according to the Stars’
Seguin is tied for the NHL lead with 12 goals and is tied for third with 21
points, though he was held without a point and was a minus-2 in a 3-1 loss to
the visiting Kings on Nov. 4.
Shawn Horcoff scored and Lehtonen made 27 saves in that setback, one that
snapped Dallas’ two-game winning streak over Los Angeles.
The Stars have won five of their past seven in L.A. and are likely to start
Lehtonen tonight. He is 10-8-1 lifetime in this matchup with a 2.57 goals
against average and .912 save percentage.
The Kings got a go-ahead goal from Dustin Brown and 33 stops by Jonathan Quick
in the recent win over the Stars. Quick was key again for Los Angeles in its
most recent trip to the ice, making 44 stops in a 6-5 shootout loss to the
Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
“If it wasn’t for Jonathan, it wasn’t even close,” said Kings head coach
Darryl Sutter. “They’re a much better team than we are. They proved it last
Anze Kopitar (penalty shot) and Drew Doughty scored first-period goals last
night, Trevor Lewis scored in the second frame, and Marian Gaborik and Justin
Williams lit the lamp less than four minutes apart in the third period.
Still, Los Angeles lost for the sixth time in its past eight games, but does
have a point in each of its last four (2-0-2).
After falling to 1-3-3 as the road team this season, the Kings will play four
in a row at home, where they are 7-1-1 on the campaign.
Backup Martin Jones could spell Quick tonight with his third start and fourth
appearance of the season. He faced the Stars once before and took the loss,
yielding four goals on 23 shots.