Feb 28, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars right wing Erik Cole (72) warms up before the game against the Edmonton Oilers at the American Airlines Center. The Oilers defeated the Stars 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Dallas Stars @ Los Angeles Kings

A tough test awaits the Dallas Stars tonight as they travel West to take on the reigning Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings. The Kings currently ride a seven-game winning streak at the Staples Center.

The Stars will come into the game with confidence after defeating the St Louis Blues 4-1 in an impressive performance. Derek Roy shone bagging a goal and two assists, whilst recent recruit Erik Cole recorded his first goal in Dallas colors.

It is a crucial game for Dallas tonight, as they are currently sat in the familiar 8thplace in the Western Conference, a place they seem to hover around for some time. The fact that it is a Pacific division battle makes it even more important.

Kari Lehtonen is back from injury and looked near his best against the Blues, stopping 25 of 26 shots. He will get the start tonight.

The three-day break for Dallas has been critical for them, fitting in a good amount of practise as well as allowing some injuries to be dealt with. Philip Larsen has rejoined with the squad whilst Ray Whitney has skated but hasn’t been cleared for full contact.

After winning the Stanley Cup last season, the Kings struggled to find any sort of early season momentum. However, they are now rolling, recording a record 8-2-0 in their last ten tilts. They are in a formidable bit of form and the Stars will have their work cut out if they want a win tonight.

Their offense is hot. Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar are their most prominent forwards at the moment, leading the goals and assist tallies with 15 and 13 respectively.

It is still unknown as to who will start in net for the Kings. Jonathan Quick, who had the season of his life last year, has struggled to a .900 save percentage this year. He has been given the majority of the starts, but when called upon, backup Jonathan Bernier has recorded a .916 save percentage.

Puck drop is a late one tonight at 9.30pm CT.

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Tags: Anze Kopitar Dallas Stars Erik Cole Jeff Carter Kari Lehtonen

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