Greetings from Dallas, where it's an overcast and rainy Saturday. I asked Times colleague Mike Bresnahan if he had left anything in the American Airlines Center after being here with the Lakers on Friday night, but he said he had he gathered all of his belongings and had taken them back to Los Angeles.
Rob Blake, the Kings' assistant general manager, said Saturday that no personnel moves were imminent even though the Kings got some salary-cap space when the NHL and NHL Players'Assn. agreed to permit them to place suspended defenseman Slava Voynov on the long-term injury list. That change allows the Kings to replace Voynov's salary-cap hit, which is $4.167 million. Blake said the key benefit was getting the flexibility to make a move if the Kings fall victim to another injury or otherwise feel it's necessary, a luxury they've lacked for weeks.
Incidentally, Blake will be recognized by the Stars during a stoppage in play Saturday night in honor of his recent induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Former Star Mike Modano, also inducted last Monday, will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
Based on Saturday's morning skate, the Kings' lineup for Saturday's game will be the same as in Thursday's 3-2 victory over Carolina. Defenseman Alec Martinez (finger surgery) didn't participate in the drills but skated on his own after several players had left the ice.
"It will be a while," Coach Darryl Sutter said of the anticipated recovery time for Martinez, who was injured on Nov. 13. "He's still got a wound. He's not day to day."
Sutter also said Martinez must have some of the surgical stitches removed. "He's got a lot of stitches for a little finger," Sutter said.
Dallas is the site of the Kings' lone road victory this season, a 3-1 triumph on Nov. 4.
For the Stars, newly acquired defenseman Jason Demers is expected to make his Dallas debut Saturday night. The Stars acquired him from San Jose on Friday, with a third-round draft pick in 2016, for defenseman Brenden Dillon.
Stars General Manager Jim Nill said he was looking for a right-handed shooting defenseman to balance his three defense pairs and that he had discussed a possible trade with his San Jose counterpart, Doug Wilson, since the start of the season.
"We need to get better at our back end at moving the puck," Nill said. "The game now is so fast, you've got to get back and get pucks and get them moved up to your forwards. We have some high-end forwards and we have to do a better job getting the puck up to them."