KINGS (24-19-1) at STARS (27-13-5)
TV: TSN2 (HD), VERSUS (HD)
Last 10: Los Angeles 3-7-0; Dallas 6-3-1
Season series: Third of six meetings between these Pacific Division rivals. Dallas enters in first place, but Los Angeles has had the success in the previous two games they've played. Jonathan Quick stopped 30 shots and five different Kings scored in a 5-2 win on Oct. 28, and third-period power-play goals by Justin Williams and Jack Johnson powered them to a 3-1 victory on Nov. 11.
Big story: Los Angeles didn't help its playoff hopes any by picking up only two wins on a just-concluded eight-game homestand. But the Kings will get a chance to make up for that by proving over the next month they are road warriors. Monday's game begins a stretch where they play three of their next four away from Staples Center. Then, after returning home for two games to end the month, the Kings begin February with a massive 10-game road trip that figures to make or break their season.
Kings: Badly in need of two points to salvage something out of the homestand, Los Angeles beat up on Western Conference doormat Edmonton on Saturday, as Jarret Stoll scored twice in a 5-2 victory. Marco Sturm, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty had the other goals and Jonathan Bernier was flawless after giving up a pair of first-period goals, finishing with 24 saves.
"Tonight, we had the good energy from the beginning, right through to the end," coach Terry Murray said. "We got pretty good stops, and our whole mindset of moving the puck and getting it north, getting it into the offensive zone, was excellent. So we'll just have to move by what happened the other games, now, and look forward to what's in front of us."
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