Stars-Kings Preview

Martin Jones is simply trying to win games for the Los Angeles

Kings, not worry about any sort of streak that may come along with

his success.

That hasn’t stopped the rookie goaltender from receiving plenty

of attention, and he may get a shot to set an NHL record with his

ninth straight winning start to begin a career when surging Los

Angeles hosts the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

Jones is 8-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average since making

his debut with a victory over Anaheim on Dec. 3, joining

Philadelphia’s Bob Froese in 1982-83 as the only other goalie to

accomplish the feat.

He’s posted three shutouts while stopping 226 of 234 shots

faced, helping the Kings (25-8-4) get off to the best 37-game start

in team history.

Los Angeles blew a two-goal lead against Colorado on Saturday,

but Jones stopped all three attempts in the shootout after making

23 saves through overtime for a 3-2 win.

The Kings have won five straight at home and nine of 10

overall.

”Honestly, I don’t even know what the record is,” Jones said.

”It’s a good start and it’s something to build off of. I just

wanted to make sure I came in here and did the things that made me

successful in the past.”

He’s filled in nicely for star No. 1 goalie Jonathan Quick, who

has been on injured reserve since suffering a groin injury Nov.

12.

”Everything is more magnified up here, so it’s good to keep

level,” Jones said. “It’s been fun, but I want to make sure I stay

focused and prepared for the next game, and you can’t do that by

thinking about the last game.”

Justin Williams and Jeff Carter scored in regulation Saturday

while Anze Kopitar netted the shootout winner for the Kings, 22-1-2

when giving up fewer than three goals.

”No disrespect to (Jones), but I don’t think anybody was

thinking that he was going to step in and pretty much fill

Quickie’s shoes like he is right now,” Kopitar said.

Quick was in net the last time Los Angeles faced Dallas, as

Williams had two goals and an assist and Kopitar added three

assists in a 5-2 win Oct. 19.

Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist apiece

in that contest for the Stars, who had won two straight before

falling 3-2 in a shootout at San Jose on Saturday.

Ray Whitney and Antoine Roussel scored the game’s first two

goals, but the Sharks tied it in the third before winning the

tiebreaker.

”It’s always frustrating to lose, and (Saturday) it felt deeper

for whatever reason,” Roussel said. ”It’s still a learning curve

for us. We played a great game but we couldn’t get the big

bounce.”

Making matters worse, Dallas (17-12-6) may be missing Sergei

Gonchar from an already thin defensive unit with Stephane Robidas,

Trevor Daley and Aaron Rome out with injuries.

Gonchar took a puck to the head in the second period and didn’t

return. His status is unclear.

“He’s all right,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “He just took that puck

to the face and isn’t feeling well, so he has to stay out for a

while probably.”

Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves Saturday and could be in net for

this contest. He’s 2-3-2 with a 3.49 GAA over his last seven

starts.