Dallas Stars Have Golden Opportunity Against Los Angeles Kings

Hockey returns to Big D tonight after a one week road trip with the Dallas Stars hunting for their third win of the season. This time they face off against the hurting Los Angeles Kings.

After a road trip that concluded with a record of 1-1-0, the Dallas Stars are back in Texas for a three game home stand. With a record of 2-1-0, the Stars will match up against the Los Angeles Kings tonight to kick everything off.

The game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Southwest (FSSW), and you can also hear it on 1310AM/96.7FM The Ticket. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Records and Scores

The Dallas Stars come into tonight’s contest with a record of 2-1-0. They have four of a possible six points and are steadily moving along throughout the early portion of their season. Besides one hiccup against the Colorado Avalanche, they seem to have their play pretty well under control.

The Los Angeles Kings are on a bit of a sore streak. They are still winless in the 2016-17 campaign with a record of 0-3-0. Their losses have come against the San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, and most recently the Minnesota Wild. They will be hunting for their first points of the year tonight.

Storylines

Release the Cracknell

Adam Cracknell was a name that flew swiftly under the radar during the first week of free agency this past July. While the majority of Dallas Stars fans were paying attention to the Dan Hamhuis signing and the future of their UFA defenders, Cracknell snuck in on a one-year, $600,000 deal.

It was an odd signing to say the least, considering the Stars needed little to no help with offense. Not to mention that even at the age of 31, Cracknell had only skated in 134 NHL games.

But through the first three games of this season, Cracknell has all but proven to be the Stars’ most functional and productive forward. He’s only skating an average of 9:47 per game, but the time constraints have not held him back. In three contests, Cracknell has scored two goals and tallied an assist, as well as put up a +2 on-ice rating.

His shooting percentage is at 22.2 percent, he’s won 71.4 percent of his face-offs, and has eight hits logged. His play is fast-paced and he brings a new form of energy to the ice in each of his shifts. It’s highly noticeable and infectious, and it’s helping carry the Stars along as they try to improve to 3-1-0 and take sole control of second place in the division.

Cracknell’s presence on the fourth line will continue to assure that the Dallas Stars have four legitimate and threatening lines of offense. Not bad for $600K. Not bad at all.

Will the Kings be Quick enough?

The NHL opened up the 2016-17 season last Wednesday night with a four game set. The last game of the night featured a Pacific Division matchup between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks won the game by a narrow score of 2-1.

The biggest development out of the game was a groin injury suffered by Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick in the dying seconds of the first period. After further evaluation, Quick received a non-surgical procedure on the injury and is now expected to be out around three months.

This is a massive blow to the Kings’ structure, which has been solid over the past few years with Quick in net. Now they will have to rely on Jeff Zatkoff and Peter Budaj to carry the load in Quick’s absence. With a fully charged Dallas Stars offense staring them down, they will need to be on their A-game if they want to win tonight, let alone over the next few months through the NHL.

Injury report

The Dallas Stars will be missing LW Jiri Hudler (illness), C Cody Eakin (knee), C Mattias Janmark (knee), and RW Ales Hemsky (groin).

The Los Angeles Kings will be minus the services of RW Marian Gaborik (foot) and G Jonathan Quick (groin).

Projected lines

Dallas Stars

Jamie BennTyler SeguinPatrick Eaves

Antoine RousselRadek FaksaJason Spezza

Patrick SharpDevin ShoreBrett Ritchie

Curtis McKenzie – Adam Cracknell – Lauri Korpikoski

Dan Hamhuis – John Klingberg

Johnny OduyaStephen Johns

Esa LindellJamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Los Angeles Kings

Dwight KingAnze KopitarTyler Toffoli

Tanner PearsonJeff CarterDevin Setoguchi

Kyle CliffordNick ShoreTrevor Lewis

Dustin BrownNic DowdAndy Andreoff

Brayden McNabbDrew Doughty

Jake MuzzinAlec Martinez

Derek ForbortTom Gilbert

Jeff Zatkoff

Peter Budaj

Prediction

Considering the Kings significant injury woes and the Stars’ strong effort in Nashville on Tuesday night, Dallas wins this one 5-2.

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