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Michael Cammalleri is the NHL's surprise goal scoring leader this season, but neither he nor the Los Angeles Kings haven't been able to do much recently against the Dallas Stars. (Game Notes)
Cammalleri will try to help the Kings (4-6-0) snap a nine-game losing streak against the Stars when they meet on Thursday night at Staples Center for the first time this season.
With a 5-1 loss on Oct. 10 in Dallas, the Kings dropped to 0-7-2 against the Stars since April 1, 2006. Cammalleri, who has 10 goals so far in 2007-08, hasn't scored in the previous three games in the series and has only two goals and three assists during the losing streak.
Los Angeles' best scoring threat, though, scored twice in a 6-0 rout of Nashville on Tuesday. Cammalleri has scored four goals during a three-game streak, and also leads the league with six power-play tallies.
Jason LaBarbera made 17 saves for his second career shutout, and Ladislav Nagy had a goal and two assists. Kings coach Marc Crawford was pleased with LaBarbera, who appears to have supplanted Jean-Sebastien Aubin as starting goaltender.
"Tonight gives Jason a great deal of confidence," Crawford said. "We definitely need our guys to have confidence in their goaltender. He played a strong game and moved the puck well behind the net."
After allowing nine goals in losing his first two starts of the season - including the defeat to Dallas earlier this month - LaBarbera has yielded only two goals in his last two games to post wins each time. LaBarbera has never started in Los Angeles against the Stars.
Dallas (4-2-2), which is looking for a season-high third win in a row, is coming off a 3-1 victory over defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim on Saturday behind 20 saves from Marty Turco and a goal and an assist from Mike Ribeiro.
"He was very solid, very good," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said of Turco, who had missed the previous two games with a leg injury. "That's got to be a staple of our team, our goaltenders have got to play very well."
Turco is 3-1-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average this season, but lost his only road start of 2007-08 when he allowed four goals in a season-opening 4-3 loss to Colorado on Oct. 3. He's won his last seven starts versus the Kings, allowing just 11 goals in that span.
Ribeiro has a goal and three assists in a three-game points streak, but Mike Modano continues to struggle in his quest to become the all-time scoring leader among American players (Check out this feature from NHL Productions). With just a goal and an assist so far this season, Modano is five points shy of passing Phil Housley.
This is the second game during a stretch in which the Stars play 10 of 11 against Pacific Division opponents. Dallas, which begins play one point behind the Ducks, has won its division in seven of the last 11 seasons.
"The next few games are against division teams and we know it's important to get those points," Ribeiro told the Stars' official Web site. "I think we're playing better and better. It's important to stay disciplined and have good starts."