Stars at Kings Pre-Game Notes

by Kristine

The Stars and the Kings are going into this game on fairly even ground. The Stars, as I’m sure you know, have played 14 games and are 5-7-2 with 12 points. The Kings also have 12 points with a 5-6-2 record in 13 games. Both teams are also close in their last five games, with the Stars being at 2-3-0 and the Kings at 2-2-1. They continue following that trend if you look at their last five games, with the Stars at 4-5-1 and the Kings at 4-4-2. Both teams have won the same amount of games overall. The only difference is that the Stars have played one more game than the Kings, and it was a loss.

Last season, the Stars were 4-2-2 against the Kings. Overall, they are 94-61-35.

In goal tonight will likely be Turco for the Stars and Erik Ersberg for the Kings. Turco’s stats have improved slightly over the last few games; he is currently at 3.93 and .858 for GAA and Sv%, respectively. Ersberg’s stats are a little more impressive; he’s sitting pretty with a GAA of 1.95 and a Sv% of .904 in five games this season. However, it’s also worth noting that Turco’s stats for his last two games – his “return to form,” so to speak – are much better, with a GAA of 2.00 and a .936 Sv%. If he can play like that tonight, it will be a good match-up in net.

Interestingly, the Stars are currently 4th in the league for shots against right now, allowing an average of only 27.1 shots per game. Even more interesting, we are still three places behind the Kings, who allow a league-best of 24.2. However, the Stars both out-shoot and out-score the Kings on average, with 27.9 SOG and 2.93 goals to their 26.9 SOG and 2.69 goals.

The two teams are also pretty evenly matched up for special teams. The Kings have a bit of an advantage with a slightly more successful PP (17.4% to the Stars’ 14.9%), but they’ve also allowed two short-handed goals. The Stars have not allowed any, and neither team has managed to score one themselves yet. The PK edge goes to the Kings as well. Theirs is at 87.9%, while the Stars sit at 76.9%.

One area where the Stars blow the Kings away is penalty minutes. The Stars currently have 277 PIM in 14 games for an average of 19.79 PIM per game. The Kings, on the other hand, average only 15 PIM per game. The Kings may not play the cleanest game, but it’s been a lot cleaner than the Stars’.

Finally, the Kings are going into tonight’s game with a two-game winning streak. The Stars, on the other hand, are looking to clean up from Saturday night’s loss and get at least another point out of their road trip. If they win tonight, they will be 2-3-0 for the road trip – not the most sucessful string of road games this team has seen. In any case, the losing team’s chance for revenge will come immediately, as the Stars host the Kings Thursday night at the American Airlines Center. It remains to be seen whose grunge match that will be. Tune in to FS-SW tonight at 9:30 CST to find out.

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