Kings-Stars Game Preview: Time to Say Goodbye

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

(to American Airlines Center)

Los Angeles Kings v Dallas Stars (American Airlines Center)

Time: 5.30 PM

TV: Prime

Enemy reading: Defending Big D

Stars (projected) lineup:

Whitney-Benn-Chiasson
Fraser-Eakin-Eriksson
Nystrom-Fiddler-Cole
Roussel-Wandell-Garbutt

Daley-Robidas
Dillon-Goligoski
Rome-Larsen

Lehtonen

Injured: Macdermid; Scratched: Lesser Benn

Kings (projected) lineup:

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
Penner-Richards-Carter
King-Stoll-Lewis
Clifford-Richardson-Nolan

Regehr-Doughty
Scuderi-Voynov
Muzzin-Ellerby

Quick

Injured: Greene (back), Mitchell (knee); Scratched: Martinez, Toffoli

Game notes:

  • In all three previous Kings-Stars games this season, the story has been the consistently excellent play of Kari Lehtonen. He was the driving force behind the Stars' two wins, even as the Kings out-played and out-chanced them. Saying "the Kings need to solve Lehtonen" is easier said than done, but...the Kings need to solve Lehtonen.
  • The Stars are now without two of their best players, Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy, who were shipped out at the trade deadline. (Also Brenden Morrow, I guess. Ehh.) Still, they've won two of three since the trade deadline, and will be going for three straight against the Kings.
  • Rookie Alex Chiasson has been a big reason for that success, scoring three goals in the three games of his call-up thus far, and helping the Stars overcome two two-goal deficits in their last game on Sunday, against the Sharks. (More impressively, his shooting percentage is 12.5%, which is very high, but not as crazy high as an AHLer scoring three in three might suggest.)
  • Dustin Penner has been activated off of IR, and it is expected that he will be in the lineup tonight. Relatedly: I think it's hilarious that players are "activated" off of IR. It makes them sound like Transformers or something. DUSTIN PENNER: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE.
  • I gave in and listed Robyn Regehr as Drew Doughty's likely partner, given that they played almost the entire game against Anaheim together. Regehr has performed fairly adequately in his time so far with the Kings, but I am still wildly lukewarm about the Jake Muzzin-Keaton Ellerby pairing returning. Free Alec Martinez.
  • Fun with numbers:
    Team
    GP
    Points
    ROW
    Goal
    Differential
    Home/Away
    Record
    PP%
    PK%
    Kings (4th, West)
    39
    48
    21
    +18
    8-9-3
    20.0 (11th)
    81.4 (17th)
    Stars (10th, West)
    38
    39
    16
    -13
    8-9-2
    17.5 (17th)
    81.9 (16th)
  • The Kings' road record is really kind of gross.
  • With two weeks left in the season, it's looking more and more like the Kings & Sharks are going to finish 4/5 or 5/4 in the West - buckle up.
  • Go Kings Go
  • (PS. I suppose two weeks before the end of the season is not really an ideal time for me to do this, but whateverrrr. Is there anything you'd like me to change about these previews? Anything you'd like me to add or to get rid of? I can't draw worth a damn, and I can't really fancystat, but otherwise, I am game to try anything you guys would like to see. Let me know, svp!) (No, I will not stop making my terrible jokes.)
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