Gameday Preview: Los Angeles Kings @ Dallas Stars (7:00pm CST)
John Klingberg can't hog all the spot-light, it seems, as now Stars fans will cast their discriminating gazes in the way of newly acquired blue-liner Jason Demers.
Thursday night at American Airlines Center Dallas Stars rookie defenseman John Klingberg sparked a third-period rally with his first NHL goal, propelling his team to a 3-1 and just their second home win in 11 tries.
Friday morning the Stars announced they had signed would-be unrestricted free agent belle-of-the-ball Jason Spezza to a four-year contract extension.
Friday afternoon the Stars announced they had traded defenseman Brenden Dillon to the San Jose Sharks in return for right-handed blue-liner Jason Demers and a third round draft choice.
Saturday evening the Stars will honor Mike Modano once more with a ceremony celebrating his Hockey Hall of Fame induction at 7:00pm.
And, oh yeah, after all of that newsy activity there's still a game to be played at around 7:30 against the Los Angeles Kings, winners of three straight following the Stars' 2-0 theft at Staples Center on the 13th thanks to the heroics of Kari Lehtonen.
Catch all the fun on Fox Sports Southwest, and join us here for our gameday thread as we take a look at the Stars' new situation on the back end.
Trades are funny things in the NHL. The perspective of the fans and media often (or most of the time) doesn't necessarily follow a truthfully appropriate progression, due to lack of knowledge on what's going on behind the scenes.
It can sometimes make a move feel rather...far out of left field- As was the case with Dillon and Demers. Take the Stars' own radio tandem on the post-game show: Klingberg/Dillon was identified numerous times as possibly being that second-pair the Stars have been looking for.
And now it's gone.
Nill was likely working on the deal before that single game against Phoenix could come along and give casual observers (such as ourselves) reason to comment that some things had begun to be figured out. We had it as a building block- Perhaps the front office had it as an exception, wishing to still alter their roster thusly.
So now we adjust our perceptions again- Likely watching this one with an eye on evaluating the advantages of having two right-hand shots down the right side, where to begin the season there were none. That's clearly a priority here, and the major accomplishment of the deal.
Meanwhile, forward lines in practice Friday were these:
It seems safe to assume that Kari Lehtonen will be back in goal to try to run his win-streak to two.
From Stars PR:
Stars rookie defenseman John Klingberg scored his first career NHL goal on Thursday night against the Coyotes, adding three hits, two shots, one takeaway and one blocked shot in 24:16 of ice time. Klingberg is currently riding a three-game point streak (1-3=4), having tallied all four of his points this season in the past three contests. The Gothenburg, Sweden native currently ranks third among all rookie defensemen with four points in six games, while he leads the group with an average time on ice per game of 23:42. Klingberg's 23:42 TOI per game is good for third on the Stars as the blue liner paces Dallas with 21:46 of even strength ice time per game.
Dallas may have spoiled the opening game of the Kings' four-game home stand, but they didn't let that bother them much. Los Angeles went on to sweep the remaining trio of contests against the Ducks, Panthers and Hurricanes by a combined score of 11-6.
They've now allowed more than two goals against just once in their last eight games. Absolutely stingy, thanks in no small part to Jonathan Quick's league leading .938 save percentage- But the Kings possession game is salty as well.
37, 27 and 39 shots powered them to their current winning-streak, and they've registered pretty dominant Fenwick percentages above 55% in three of their last four games. They've got the puck. They've got better goaltending than you do. They're scoring more this year- And it all adds up to an impressive 11-5-4 record, just three points out of first overall in the West.
That stacked lineup of theirs, or something like it:
Defenseman Slava Voynov remains suspended indefinitely after being charged with felony spousal abuse- A situation that had hurt them significantly in terms of being able to recall bodies from their AHL affiliate due to their self-inflicted tight cap situation.
The league announced on Friday that his salary would no longer count against their cap- a relief to them as they've skated games this season (and excelled) with only five defensemen or 17 skaters overall.
From the NHL.com preview: "The Kings have 26 points in their first 20 games, which puts them on pace for a franchise-record 106, one more than the mark of 105 points set in 1974-75."