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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 31st (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (19-12-3) at Dallas Stars (16-14-3), 6 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Jaromir Jagr and the Dallas Stars look to best the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings for the third time in as many meetings this season when the two Pacific Division residents square off on Sunday evening.
The Stars have already defeated the Kings twice this season in Los Angeles, giving them a victory in five of the past six encounters. Dallas, though, has lost eight of its past 10 to L.A. at home.
Jaromir Jagr has three goals in the two meetings with the Kings this season, scoring twice in a 5-2 victory on March 7 before adding a goal in a 2-0 victory on March 21. Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves in his first shutout of the season in the most recent encounter.
Jagr reached a milestone in Friday's 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild, logging the 1,000th assist of his career. He became the 12th player in league history to reach the plateau and first European.
The 41-year-old leads the Stars with 14 goals and 26 points in his first season with the club.
"When I started I didn't really think about this moment," said Jagr. "I was just happy to be able to play over here. I just kept working hard and I was really lucky to have a lot of great players on my side that I learned a lot from."
Lehtonen made 30 saves, but was not credited with the win since he was not on the ice when the deciding goal was scored. He had to leave the game for a 2:32 span in the third because of a skate issue and Richard Bachman got the win despite not facing a shot.
Erik Cole, Jamie Benn and Cody Eakin tallied in the third period, while Ray Whitney and Tomas Vincour also lit the lamp in Dallas' fourth victory in six games. That has them tied with three other teams for ninth in the Western Conference, one point back of the eighth-place St. Louis Blues.
Center Vernon Fiddler left Friday's game in the first period with a charley horse and did not return. He did not practice on Saturday and is day-to-day, while Dallas recalled forward Toby Petersen from the minors as insurance.
While Dallas will play the fourth of a five-game homestand, Los Angeles will try to rebound on its road trip Sunday evening following yesterday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Wild.
The Kings, who had won the first two of the five-game swing, took a 3-1 lead on Justin Williams' goal at 11:24 of the second period before Minnesota rallied.
"You're up 3-1 and you give them two points. That's not what you want to do," Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick told lakingsinders.com.
"You're just trying to climb the standings. You're trying to win games every time you're out there."
Quick made 25 saves, but was bested by all three Minnesota skaters in the shootout. Jeff Carter scored to notch the 400th point of his career and Dustin Brown lit the lamp for a third straight game.
The Kings have 41 points on the season, putting them fifth in the West and one point ahead of the San Jose Sharks.
03/31 10:27:58 ET