The Dallas Stars’ current skid has them in serious danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.
The reeling Stars look to avoid extending their season-high losing streak to eight games when they conclude a brief two-game road trip Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.
On March 14, Dallas (33-33-10) was seventh in the Western Conference and in position to reach the postseason. The Stars have gone 0-5-2 since, however, to drop seven points behind the final playoff spot with six games remaining.
“You want to win every game you play and we obviously need points in this tough situation we are in,” forward Loui Eriksson told the Stars’ official Web site. “We have to step up for each other and pick up some slack.”
Dallas will try to avoid losing eight in a row for the first time since No. 11-29, 1978, when the franchise was in Minnesota.
After reaching the conference finals in 2007-08, the Stars are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2001-02, and just the second in 12 seasons.
Dallas fell 6-5 in overtime at Phoenix on Monday for its most recent defeat. Ravaged by injuries to a number of key players, the Stars are 4-12-3 since moving a season-best eight games over .500 on Feb. 19.
Dallas still might not have an easy time ending that skid in this contest.
Though Los Angeles (31-33-11) is about to miss the playoffs for a sixth straight season, the Kings are 4-0-1 against the Stars this season and won 1-0 in a shootout at Dallas on Thursday. All but one game in the season series has been decided in either overtime or a shootout.
Marty Turco made 30 saves for Dallas against the Kings last week and should be back in net after rookie Tobias Stephan started Monday. Turco is 15-11-6 with two ties and a 2.55 GAA lifetime versus Los Angeles.
Ribeiro has a goal and four assists in his last two contests and three with two assists against the Kings this season.
“We’re not going to quit just because things don’t look good for the playoffs,” Johnson said.
Kopitar, who had one of the Kings’ two shootout goals against Dallas last week, has one and five assists versus the Stars this season.
Jon Quick made 24 saves against Nashville, one game after making 29 against the Stars for his fourth shutout. He is 2-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA all-time against Dallas.