NHL Hockey

When Stars host Kings, will anyone actually score?

Returning home hasn't pulled Dallas out of its scoring doldrums. Perhaps playing Los Angeles will. The Star host the Kings on Thursday night at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas.

The Stars entered last weekend ready to make some noise and capitalize on the momentum they believed they would gain from a six-game homestand, but they have lost the first two games -- albeit to two of the league's hottest goaltenders in St. Louis rookie Jordan Binnington and Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Dallas (23-20-4, 50 points) has lost three straight, including a 2-0 setback on Tuesday to league-leading Tampa Bay despite outshooting the Lightning 35-21, including 25-17 during even-strength play. The Stars had their chances, with six power-play opportunities -- matching their season high -- but could not solve Vasilevskiy.

"We had a good game tonight," Stars coach Jim Montgomery told NHL.com after Tuesday's loss. "We played a good brand of hockey. We are just struggling to score goals right now."

And how. The Stars have only two goals during their three-game swoon and just eight total goals over the last six games. They've scored two goals or fewer in 11 of their last 14 contests.

"We've just got to keep with it," Montgomery continued. "If we keep playing games we did (against Tampa Bay), the way we were skating, the way we were creating really good looks, we are going to end up on top of a lot of games."

Forward Andrew Cogliano, acquired from Anaheim in a trade for Devin Shore on Monday, made his Stars debut against Tampa Bay. He skated on a line with Jason Spezza and Erik Condra (who was then sent down to Texas of the AHL on Wednesday). Cogliano had one shot attempt in 12:11 of ice time, and the Stars were a plus-six in shot attempts at full strength when Cogliano was on the ice.

Los Angeles (18-25-4, 40 points) head to North Texas after a 3-2 shootout loss at Minnesota on Tuesday. The Kings have lost three of their last four contests, and never led in Tuesday's game. They tied the match twice on goals by Ilya Kovalchuk and Jeff Carter, the latter of which came with just 2:30 left in regulation.

"We've got to be consistent, not just period to period, but shift to shift," Kings winger Dustin Brown told the Los Angeles Times after Tuesday's loss. "Right now, I think, for our team, I think we have two or three good shifts in a row. Part of it is inexperience and the little plays make a big difference, especially a team that plays a transition game like they do."

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was more than up to the task in the loss, turning away 40 Minnesota shots and standing tall during a penalty in overtime. The Wild got the only goal in the shootout on Jason Zucker's perfect backhand.

"We sure as hell got to be a lot more consistent than we've been, and we've got to figure that out," Los Angeles defenseman Alec Martinez told reporters Tuesday. "Quickie got us that point. Without him in the net, it could have been 8-1. He stood on his head, and he was the reason why we got the point."

The Stars beat Los Angeles 4-2 in the two teams' first matchup of the season on Oct. 23 in Dallas.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 16, 2019

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