Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
Game 35 @ Dallas, March 31, 2013, 3pm PST (6pm EST)
After their shootout loss in St. Paul on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Kings are right back to work as they play the fourth game of their five-game road trip on Sunday afternoon at the American Airlines Center to take on the Dallas Stars.
This marks the third of fourth meeting between the Pacific rivals with Dallas winning the first two meetings, both in Los Angeles. Perhaps a change of scenery is just what the Kings need. After all, they are 2-0-1 on their current road swing. But picking up two points on Easter Sunday will not be an easy feat.
In their first two meetings with the Stars, the Kings had a tough time containing 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr who scored three goals against Los Angeles this season with his most recent being the game-winner in a 2-0 win at Staples Center back on March 21. While Jagr isn’t the only Star the Kings need to slow down, he is the biggest obstacle between the silver-and-black and a pair of points.
Of course, as important as it is for the Kings to keep the puck out of their own net, they need to find ways to put the puck in the other. Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen has stopped 71 of 73 shots in his two games against the Kings this season which includes a 40-save shutout performance 10 days ago in Los Angeles – and that came after playing (and losing) just the night before.
Los Angeles’ power play was working in Minnesota on Saturday as they went 2-for-2 with the man-advantage and hope to continue that trend on Sunday. Both Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter are continuing to roll (both scored against the Wild last game) and the Stars will need to contain those two should they hope to improve to 3-0-0 against their SoCal rivals this season.
It’s unclear which goaltender will get the nod for the Kings on Sunday. Given that Jonathan Quick played in Minnesota on Saturday, logic would suggest that Jonathan Bernier will get the start against Dallas. Of course, outside of the shootout, Quick did have a great game and the coaching staff may want to give Number 32 a chance to redeem himself.
We’ll just have to see. Either way, Sunday’s meeting should be a great contest.
Enjoy the game!