NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 2nd (All times eastern)
Dallas Stars (38-27-11) at Los Angeles Kings (44-27-6), 4 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The sliding Dallas Stars will try to revive their fading playoff chances when they visit the Los Angeles Kings in today's Pacific Division battle at the Staples Center.
The Stars have lost their last five games (0-2-3) to fall five points behind Chicago in the race for the West's eighth and final postseason berth. With six tests left in the regular season, Dallas has a game in hand to use over the idle Blackhawks today.
"We're running out of games," Stars forward Brenden Morrow said after his club's most recent loss. "It's starting to be do-or-die."
The Kings, meanwhile, are tied for fifth in the West with Nashville, but LA is still just two points ahead of the Blackhawks in the conference standings. Los Angeles is also still alive in the Pacific Division title race, as the Kings trail first-place San Jose by five points with five games left.
The Stars will try to rebound from a lopsided road loss in their last outing, as they dropped a 6-0 decision Thursday at San Jose. Patrick Marleau tallied twice and Antti Niemi notched his sixth shutout of the season in the easy win for the Sharks.
Kari Lehtonen yielded four goals on 33 shots in 42-plus minutes for the Stars, who have also lost seven of their last eight. Andrew Raycroft let in two more scores for the remainder of the game.
Dallas has lost the first three games of a five-game road trip to fall to 18-16-3 as the guest this season. The Stars are scheduled to close the swing tomorrow night in Anaheim.
The Kings had a four-game winning streak halted in their last game, dropping Thursday's 3-1 decision in Vancouver. The Canucks were able to clinch their first-ever Presidents' Trophy with the victory.
Kyle Clifford scored the lone goal for the Kings in Thursday's loss, while Jonathan Quick made 32 saves in the loss.
"I thought we were too tentative all game," Kings forward Dustin Brown said.
The Kings are trying to clinch a playoff berth without the help of two of their best offensive weapons. LA is without Justin Williams for the rest of the regular season due to a dislocated right shoulder, while Anze Kopitar underwent season-ending surgery on his right ankle on Wednesday.
LA has won three straight on home ice and is 23-12-3 as the host this season.
The Kings have taken three of five from Dallas this year and have won eight of 11 overall from their Pacific rivals. The Stars have notched wins in two of their last three trips to LA.
04/02 11:00:30 ET