Game Day #4: Los Angeles Kings @ Dallas Stars
What Kings fans will be watching for: Can Peter Budaj pull the Kings out of this rut? Goaltending is the clear #1 concern for LA right now, and if the Kings can put forth a similar effort to the one they put forth on Tuesday, a decent performance from Budaj should be enough.
What Stars fans will be watching for: On the other hand, Dallas came into this season expecting their highly paid goalies to be their concern. Having said that: tonight’s starter, Kari Lehtonen, has performed quite well in a game an a half’s worth of action. After ceding the Opening Night start to Antti Niemi, is Lehtonen ready to take back the net?
What everyone else will be watching for: Despite LA’s sloppy start, this is still a matchup between last year’s Central champs and last year’s almost-Pacific champs. Both teams came in with high expectations and only one has started the year at that level. Should be a good game though.
Stat of the Day: LA has gone 125 games without a four-game losing streak.
The Key Players: Devin and Nick Shore. This was primarily an excuse to mention that each team has third-line centers named Shore, but it’s worth pointing out that Devin has three points and Nick has zero. The leading scorer for the Kings, Anze Kopitar, has three points. The leading scorer for the Stars also has three points, and his name is Devin Shore/Patrick Eaves/Adam Cracknell/Jamie Benn/Antoine Roussel/Tyler Seguin. Dallas has gotten balanced scoring; in fact, every single player who’s played in all three of the Stars’ games has gotten on the scoresheet at least once. Balanced scoring is pretty cool.
The Prediction: Either the Dodgers or the Kings win, at least.