Two games finished in the Dallas Stars 6 home game stretch early in the season. And all they have to show for it is two tallies in the L column of their record. Not how they wanted to start this promising stretch after entering it 5-1. And losses to two teams that they could have beaten, Nashville and Anaheim, mean the Stars really need to win tonight’s game. Of course, coming in tonight is division rival and expected competitor in the West, the L.A. Kings. The Kings come in with a 6-3-0 record after taking a lose last night in Chicago. The Kings are 9-2-1 against Dallas over the last two seasons, as the Kings have sprung up with a lot of young talent and potential while the Stars have had a rough couple of years. It could be key for the Stars to turn this homestand back around and not lose three in a row at home. It would also be good to regain some confidence and belief that they can beat the Kings, as L.A. has just had their number the last few years.
The Stars will be without top defenseman Stephane Robidas after he got an automatic one game suspension for his boarding and game misconduct on Tuesday night. It is his second within a 41-game period, which means he automatically has to sit one game. The Stars will have to play really well on the defensive end with their top guy out, especially being that it is a very talented forward group that the Kings are bringing in. Dallas recalled top prospect Philip Larsen from the Texas Stars and he will play tonight, expected to be in the lineup and play some times on the powerplay. He is an offensive D-man and has a right handed shot, so I expect to see him get some time on the PP, and think he will be fine in that aspect. I mean shot, if he helps the PP finally score a couple of goals then maybe they will have to keep him up here.
The Kings will be missing their top defenseman too, as Drew Doughty is still out after an “upper-body” injury that is being rumored by multiple sources to have been a slight concussion. The Norris Trophy finalist and All-Star from last season is considered one of the top 5-10 Dmen in the league right now, as he is still only 21. Amazing on both ends of the ice, he may the best two way Dman for many years to come and be one of the best at the point on the PP. But he is still out tonight, and that could help Dallas. It weakens the Kings defense, and also their PP.
Dallas has outshot their opponents the last two games after having issues with that early in the season. Funny enough, Dallas has lost both of those games…the puzzle does not fit here people! Oh wait, they still haven’t scored on the PP when given many chances. That could be part of it. Watch the special teams tonight. That is going to be the key to that game.
Prediction: L.A. Kings 3, Dallas Stars 2 (OT)
P.S. – The Rangers World Series game will be broadcast on the large screen in Victory Plaza and throughout the arena tonight. So Rangers fans going to the Stars game, don’t worry about it, the Dallas Stars have you covered. They will also be showing replays and updates on the jumbotron and in between periods.