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10-19-2009, 10:47 AM
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johnjm22
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Los Angeles Kings @ Dallas Stars - 10/19/09 - 5:30PM

.


Los Angeles Kings
(4-4-0, 8 pts)


VS.



Dallas Stars
(3-1-3, 9 pts)






American Airlines Center Dallas, TX


TV Broadcast: FS-W (Away), FS-SW (Home)
Radio Broadcast: KTLK 1150 AM, XM 205
Online Video Stream: ATDHE.NET


GAME PREIVEW
Season Series: This is the first of six meetings between the Pacific Division rivals, and the start of a home-and-home series that concludes on Thursday in Los Angeles. The Kings went 4-1-1 against the Stars last season, with four of the meetings requiring more than regulation.

Big Story: Marc Crawford is back behind an NHL bench and is off to a quality start with the Dallas Stars. Crawford, who coached Los Angeles from 2006-08, has watched his new team earn points in six of its first seven games.

Team Scope
Kings: The biggest reason for L.A.'s recent struggles is the fact that roughly one-third of the team is battling the flu. In their three consecutive losses, the Kings -- who have plenty of firepower up front -- have scored only five goals.

"We've probably got seven, eight guys out there that are really, really low on energy right now," Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said after Saturday's 4-1 loss at Columbus. "It showed, as we had to play catch-up. The tank just empties out too quickly. You call on a few guys, and even though they're healthy, they're playing in too many situations that are very hard to get through."

Stars: Brad Richards is showing the form that helped him win the Conn Smythe Trophy with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. The 29-year-old center is off to a tremendous start with the Stars, as he's tallied 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists) in the team's first seven games. He and his teammates suffered a minor setback on Friday night in a 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins at American Airlines Center, but bounced back nicely on Saturday in a 4-3 win at Chicago.

"I thought that we were guilty of going to the easy areas a little bit too much," Crawford said after Friday's loss. "A team like Boston will do that -- they'll spread you out, push you to the outside. They will give you the corner areas in the offensive zone, but let's face it the goals are scored in the high-traffic areas in front of the net."

Who's Hot: Anze Kopitar (4-8-12) and newcomer Ryan Smyth (5-5-10) are both averaging more than a point per game for the Kings. Three of Smyth's five goals have come via the power play. For Dallas, captain Brenden Morrow is just a point off the team lead in points and has five goals in seven games. Marty Turco has only one victory in five appearances, but he's posted a 2.29 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.

Stat Pack: If Los Angeles is going to get back on track, the power play has to improve quickly. The Kings have converted only once in their last 17 opportunities with the man advantage. They went 0-for-5 in Columbus on Saturday, one of the many reasons why a brief players-only meeting was held after the loss.

"We had a talk in here," Kings defenseman Matt Greene said. "It was a good talk. There were a lot of points brought up and everybody knows what they've got to do in order to stop the bleeding."

Crawford has relied heavily on Stephane Robidas in the early going. The Stars' defenseman logged 26:56 of ice time on Saturday and scored the game-winning goal at Chicago -- on a shot from center ice.

"I just had the puck in the neutral zone and there was no sense for me to try to do something stupid so I just tried to rim it," Robidas said. "I didn't do anything special."

Puck Drop: Health is obviously the main concern for the Kings right now as several players battle flu-like symptoms, but it's important for a young team to not allow the losses to pile up. Los Angeles will have to better with the power play and in the faceoff circle in order to avoid a fourth straight loss.

-- Brian Compton, NHL.com

http://www.nhl.com/ice/preview.htm?id=2009020107



INJURIES
LOS ANGELES
Alec Martinez - Lower body (Out until at least mid-October)

DALLAS
Jere Lehtinen - Abdomen (Questionable for Oct. 19 vs. Los Angeles)
Mike Modano - Ribs (Out until at least mid-October)
Steve Ott - Oblique (IR. Out until at least late October)
Brad Richards - Groin

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/injuries



RECENT MEETINGS
03/31/09 - DAL @ LAK 3-2 (Stars)
03/26/09 - LAK @ DAL 1-0 (Kings, SO)
03/05/09 - DAL @ LAK 5-4 (Kings, OT)
01/17/09 - LAK @ DAL 3-2 (Stars, SO)

*Kings All Time Record against vs the Stars: 68-91-32-5

http://kings.nhl.com/club/page.htm?bcid=21262



LEADING SCORERS
Forwards
Kopitar, LA - 12PTS (4 G / 8 A, +1)
Richards, DAL - 9PTS (3 G / 6 A, +4)

Defensemen
Doughty, LA - 6PTS (2 G / 4 A, -1)
Robidas, DAL - 5PTS (2 G / 3 A, +7)

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm


PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
LOS ANGELES
Smyth - Kopitar - Williams
Purcell - Stoll - Brown
Ivanans-Handzus-Simmonds
Moller-Richarsdon-Harrold

Drewiske - Doughty
Johnson - Scuderi
O'Donnell - Greene


DALLAS
Neal - Richards - Eriksson
Benn - Ribeiro - Morrow
Brunnstrom - Sutherby - Wandell
Fistric - Petersen - Barch

Grossman - Robidas
Skrastins - Daley
Woywitka - Niskanen


PROBABLE STARTING GOALTENDERS
Quick, LA - 7 GP (4-3-0)
GAA 3.15 / SV% .891

Turco, DAL - 5 GP (1-1-3)
GAA 2.29 / SV% .910

http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm



TEAM STATS
GAA
LA 3.50 (T-24th)
DAL 2.43 (8th)

Avg. Goals For
LA 3.00 (T-15th)
DAL 3.43 (8th)

Power Play %
LA 21.0 (15th)
DAL 19.4 (19th)

Penalty Kill %
LA 64.7 (29th)
DAL 68.0 (27th)

http://www.nhl.com/ice/teamstats.htm



WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS


NHL GAMES TODAY





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