Defenseman John Klingberg looks to continue his scoring surge when the Dallas Stars begin a three-game Southeast road trip against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. The 25-year-old Klingberg has registered seven points in his last three games to lead the team, and all NHL blue-liners, with 18 - eight of which have come on the league’s top power play (31.3 percent).
“I see a young guy maturing,” Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters of Klingberg. “He doesn’t have a lot of games in the league to be a go-to guy, but I see his game maturing in that he’s really learning when to live to fight another day with the puck. I think that’s putting him in a good spot.” The Stars, who have won four of their last six contests after posting a 5-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday, also will visit Florida and Tampa Bay on their trek. The Hurricanes have earned points in each of their last four games (2-0-2) but could not feel happy with their point on Saturday as Chicago rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period before pulling out a 4-3 overtime triumph. “You’ve got to be able to close those out,” Carolina forward Derek Ryan told reporters. “I thought they got a couple bounces but, at the same time, we have to make sure we’re locking it up defensively, and we didn’t do that.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVA, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN Carolinas
ABOUT THE STARS (9-7-0): Jason Spezza snapped his career-high 16-game goal-scoring drought, which started late last season, on Friday and told reporters “Obviously, it’s been a long time. Hopefully, it’s something I can build off of.” Captain Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin (two goals, three assists in the last five contests) are tied for second on the team with 16 points while Alexander Radulov is next with 14 as he carries a seven-game point streak into the contest against Carolina. Defenseman Marc Methot (lower body) is expected to miss at least the next two games.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (6-5-4): The power play, which is near the bottom of the league at 12.2 percent, is 0-for-14 over the last five games and has been successful just once in the last 10 contests. “We’ve got to find a way to turn that around,” left wing Jeff Skinner, who scored his team-leading eighth goal on Saturday, told reporters. “It’s costing us in some situations where we need a bit of a jump, and we’re not getting it.” Veteran forward Justin Williams notched an assist against the Blackhawks and leads the team with 13 points, including eight over his last seven games.
1. The Stars have won the last six meetings, including a 4-3 triumph in Dallas on Oct. 21 in which C Tyler Pitlick scored twice.
2. Dallas G Ben Bishop, who is expected to get the start, is 8-1-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average and .942 save percentage against the Hurricanes.
3. Carolina recalled LW Phil Di Giuseppe and RW Lee Stempniak, who was on a conditioning stint, from Charlotte of the American Hockey League.
PREDICTION: Hurricanes 4, Stars 3