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Stars hope to boost playoff chances against Kings
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars aren't letting the trades of some of their top players prevent them from still making a run at a playoff spot.
The Stars take aim at a third straight victory on Tuesday evening when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings.
Dallas had lost three straight and four of five prior to consecutive road wins at Anaheim and San Jose. The Stars have strung those wins together despite trading both forwards Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy last Tuesday a little over a week after dealing away former captain Brenden Morrow.
The Stars snapped the San Jose Sharks' winning streak at seven games with Sunday's 5-4 shootout victory. Dallas twice rallied from two-goal deficits in the game before Jaime Benn had the lone goal of the tiebreaker.
Kari Lehtonen made 32 saves and rookie Alex Chiasson scored twice in his third NHL game. His second tally started Dallas' second comeback in the game, one that Loui Eriksson completed to force overtime with a goal at the 9:14 mark of the third.
With 39 points, Dallas is four back of the eighth-place Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference standings with 10 games to play.
"The only thing that matters is what we believe in this dressing room," Benn said. "It's not going to be pretty some nights. But the effort is going to be there and the heart and character will be there also. I think you saw part of that."
The Kings appear to be in good shape at getting a chance to defend their Stanley Cup title. Los Angeles is fourth overall in the West with 48 points, one ahead of the Sharks, who visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
Los Angeles is 5-1-2 in its last eight but did have a two-game winning streak snapped with Sunday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks. The Kings never led in the game, but did battle back from a goal down three different times. Dustin Brown's with 3:40 left in the third period forced overtime.
After scoring in regulation, Jeff Carter had a shootout goal for the Kings, but Mike Richards did not score on his attempt and Jonathan Bernier was beaten three times by three skaters after making 19 saves through overtime.
"We showed character," said Kings forward Anze Kopitar. "We battled back three times. We picked it up right after their first goal, but a shootout can go either way and tonight it went their way."
Drew Doughty scored and Brown added an assist for the Kings. Justin Williams had an assist to push his point streak to seven straight games (6 goals, 2 assists), while Carter has a goal in five of his past six games and seven points over his last seven games. He leads the Western Conference with 23 goals.
While the Stars have won five of their past seven versus the Kings overall, Los Angeles has claimed victory in 11 of its past 14 trips to Dallas. That includes a 3-2 road victory on March 31.
04/09 11:28:59 ET