The Dallas Stars hope their knack for beating the Los Angeles Kings continues on Sunday, as they try to boost their playoff chances in a road battle at Staples Center.
The Stars are 3-1 against the defending Stanley Cup champions in 2013 and Dallas has outscored their Pacific Division rivals by a 14-6 margin during the season's series. Dallas also won both of its games in L.A., giving the Stars four straight wins in the City of Angels.
Dallas beat the Kings for the sixth time in eight meetings when it earned a 5-1 home win on April 9. Ray Whitney scored twice during a four-goal third period for the Stars.
While the Kings, who are tied with San Jose for the fourth seed in the West, have officially clinched a playoff spot, the Stars enter Sunday two points out of the conference's final postseason berth. With 55 points apiece, the Kings and Sharks are also five in back of Anaheim for the Pacific Division lead.
Dallas is one point behind ninth-place Detroit and two in back of Columbus for the West's last postseason spot. The Stars and Red Wings, who are idle on Sunday, each have four games remaining in the regular season. The Blue Jackets, who have three games left, are playing tonight in San Jose.
The Stars have lost two of their last three games following a five- game win streak from April 5-13 and the club was dealt a 2-1 regulation setback Friday night in St. Louis. Ryan Reaves' second-period marker proved to be the difference for the Blues.
Antoine Roussel registered the lone Dallas goal, while Kari Lehtonen allowed both St. Louis goals on 20 shots for the Stars.
"Not too many mistakes today, we were playing great defense and so were they. They just got one more goal than us," Lehtonen said.
The game marked the first of three straight on the road for Dallas, which is 11-10-1 as the guest this season. The Stars will close this swing Tuesday in San Jose before capping the regular season on a two-game homestand against Columbus and Detroit.
The Kings have won three of four games (3-0-1) and they recorded a 2-1 regulation win Thursday against visiting Columbus. Kyle Clifford scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and L.A. held on to upend the Blue Jackets.
Drew Doughty registered a power-play goal in the first period for the Kings, who received 20 saves from goaltender Jonathan Quick. . "We're both fighting for a playoff spot. They're one of the hottest teams. We knew they would bring a lot of energy. It's good to get two points in regulation and not let them get a point," Quick said.
The Kings have built a superb 17-4-1 record on home ice this season. L.A. will visit Minnesota and Detroit for its next two games before closing the regular season in Saturday's home test against the Sharks.