Stars-Kings Preview

The Associated Press

No matter how they're getting it done, the Los Angeles Kings continue to surge.

After rallying for their latest victory, the Kings try to extend their home winning streak to seven Thursday night as they face a Dallas Stars team doing plenty of scoring on the road.

Los Angeles (12-7-2) has won nine of 11 since opening 3-5-2, and built even more momentum after overcoming a three-goal deficit to win 6-4 over St. Louis on Tuesday.

"We've got a confident, calm group here with great leaders on the team," said defenseman Jake Muzzin, who had two goals and an assist.

Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards each had a goal with an assist while Justin Williams added three assists for the reigning Stanley Cup champions, who have scored 11 times to win their last two contests. Richards and Muzzin scored 59 seconds apart in the third to tie Tuesday's game, and Jeff Carter's team-leading 15th with 13:51 to play was the go-ahead goal.

"It's probably natural for teams to try and protect (a big lead)," coach Darryl Sutter said. "We try to have the other mindset and always play like we're down one."

The Kings' turnaround has come while mostly at home, where they are 7-1-1 and looking to win seven in a row for the first time since starting 8-0-0 at Staples Center in 2010-11.

They've also benefited from the red-hot play of Carter, who has 11 of Los Angeles' 38 goals in the last 11 contests. He had his first hat trick in a year Monday against Nashville.

"It's pretty nice to see, to be honest with you, not worrying about goals all the time, because he's been getting (them) pretty regularly," said Kopitar, who has three goals and eight assists in the past seven games. "Hopefully he continues to play like that and scoring goals for us. We obviously need him."

Carter, however, has no points in his last three versus the Stars after recording one in five straight against them.

Jonathan Quick is likely to start after allowing one goal in 38:46 on Tuesday after relieving Jonathan Bernier. Quick has a 1.95 goals-against average while winning four of five, and a 1.98 GAA during a 7-0-2 stretch against Dallas.

The Stars (11-9-2), though, have scored at least three goals in seven consecutive road games, averaging 3.9 while going 5-1-1. Plus, they won one-goal games in their last two trips to Staples Center.

This is the teams' first meeting after splitting six games last season.

"(We) haven't played them yet. (They're a) big, skilled team up front," Sutter said of Dallas, which is in the midst of a 3-1-1 stretch. "They're a division team, and we look forward to playing somebody different."

The Stars return to action after a 4-1 home victory over St. Louis on Sunday. Derek Roy had a goal with two assists, and Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves to help Dallas bounce back from a 5-1 loss to Edmonton last Thursday.

Loui Eriksson scored his third goal in four games and is tied for the team lead with seven. He has four goals and two assists in his last five versus Los Angeles.

Erik Cole scored Sunday in his second game since being acquired by Dallas from Montreal on Feb. 26.

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