Kings shoot for payback against Stars
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will be aiming for a fourth straight win and a bit of payback when they host the struggling Dallas Stars in Thursday's Pacific Division clash at the Staples Center.
The Kings have won three in a row and seven of their last 10 contests, but the defending Stanley Cup champions are 0-1 against the Stars in 2013.
Dallas visited Los Angeles back on March 7 for the first of five scheduled encounters this season between the division rivals. The Stars used a two-goal performance from Jaromir Jagr en route to a 5-2 triumph in that one, giving Dallas four wins in the last five meetings between the clubs. It also was the Stars' third straight victory in L.A.
For the Kings, the loss to Dallas earlier this month was just their second home regulation setback of the season. All told, Los Angeles is 12-2-1 at the Staples Center in 2013 and has won five straight at home since losing to the Stars.
L.A., which is seeded fourth in the West, is 3-0 on its current five-game homestand and the club's last two wins came against the rival Phoenix Coyotes. The Kings earned a 4-0 win over the Coyotes on Monday and recorded a 3-2 regulation decision the following night.
Jonathan Bernier made a career-high 40 saves in Tuesday's rematch. Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner and Drew Doughty scored the goals for Los Angeles.
"We knew they were going to shoot from everywhere, but we did a good job of controlling rebounds," said Bernier, who is 7-0-0 in eight starts this season.
Jonathan Quick could get the start in net for the Kings on Thursday. He is 13-4-2 with a 2.26 goals against average in 19 career games against Dallas.
The Stars dropped a 4-3 regulation decision at Colorado on Wednesday, losing for the fifth time in six games. The recent struggles has Dallas sitting in a tie with Edmonton for 11th place in the West, but the club is still only three points out of a playoff spot.
Chuck Kobasew scored the game-winner late in the third period to lead the Colorado Avalanche past the Stars on Wednesday.
Jagr had a goal and two assists while Trevor Daley and Ray Whitney each scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen gave up all four goals on 34 shots for the loss.
"We played flat tonight," said Jagr. "I guess we really didn't know how important this game was and with back-to-back games it's only going to get tougher."
The Stars have lost their last two on the road and are 7-7-1 as the guest this season.
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