Stars keeping guard up ahead of encounter vs. Kings

Stars keeping guard up ahead of encounter vs. Kings

The Dallas Stars have a favorable schedule over the next 10 days, but don't expect them to ease off the gas anytime soon.Dallas has lost two in a row to open a five-game homestand, costing it the top

The Dallas Stars have a favorable schedule over the next 10 days, but don’t expect them to ease off the gas anytime soon.Dallas has lost two in a row to open a five-game homestand, costing it the top spot in the Central Division.The Stars will try to get back on track when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.Dallas already has defeated Los Angeles twice this season by a combined score of 9-2, and its next four matchups consist of two games against the Arizona Coyotes and one each versus the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins. Those three teams are well out of the playoff hunt.Dallas coach Peter DeBoer said the Stars would be “foolish” to glide into the next five games, especially after what happened over the past two.The Stars squandered a three-goal lead on Tuesday against the visiting Florida Panthers and dropped a 4-3 decision. Two nights later, Dallas scored the first goal 15 seconds into its game against the New Jersey Devils but gave up the final five in a 6-2 loss.”You’ve got to go out and win these games and you’ve got to give these teams the proper amount of respect, where anybody beats anybody,” DeBoer said. “We’re smart enough to know that, so strength of schedule for me doesn’t matter this time of year. You’ve got to be playing your game at a really high level for really long periods of time.”Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger was lifted after giving up four goals on 10 shots against the Devils. Scott Wedgewood surrendered two goals on 10 shots in relief.DeBoer didn’t cite goaltending as a problem against the Devils, but rather careless puck-handling.”The turnover goals are something you have to eliminate, especially this time of year, and the guys know that,” DeBoer said. “You’ve got to eliminate the recklessness with the puck. There’s no place for it. … If you don’t eliminate that this time of year, you’re not going to win.”Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen, who scored an own goal on a deflection against the Devils, agreed that mistakes with the puck are costing the team lately.

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