Video: TSN Pre-Game Report
WINNIPEG - Ask any member of the Winnipeg Jets about tonight's game, and one of the first words mentioned is "urgency."
Six points back of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Jets are part of a four-team group pursuing the Los Angeles Kings, who hold down the final wild-card spot.
One of the other four teams in that chase is the Dallas Stars, Winnipeg's opponent tonight in the finale of a four-game home stand.
"There's a bit of a sense of urgency to get back on the right track. We weren't happy with our effort against Tampa," said Lowry, referring to the 4-1 loss to the Lightning on Saturday. "We know it's going to be a tough game against Dallas. We're right there with them in the standings. It's going to be a hard fought game. We're looking forward to the challenge tonight."
Video: PREGAME | Adam Lowry
Both teams enter the night with 54 points in the standings. That alone could create the urgency and desperation with two valuable points on the line. But head coach Paul Maurice says he'd like to see that desperation become "controlled intensity."
"Just get back to doing one job as hard as you possibly can, but finish that job. Then everyone else around you can do theirs," said Maurice. "Nobody moves until they understand where the key is - the first forechecker, first defender, puck carrier. When the key person moves, and does the job they're expected to do, everybody is faster.
"When you come off that because you're desperate, or you're going to try and do two jobs at once, pick a pass off or instead of hitting the open guy, hit something high risk on the other side, or because of all the things that have happened in front of you - you don't have your D zone sorted out - then you can play as desperate as you want, and this team, the Dallas Stars, will feast on that."
Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice
The Stars have done just that against opposing teams this season, sitting in the top half of the league in goals for. But despite that offence, Dallas has lost five of their last six games, including a 4-3 loss to the Jets back at American Airlines Center on Feb. 2.
Overall, the Jets have won three straight over the Stars, and have a 3-1 record against Dallas this season as a result. Tonight's match up will be the fifth and final meeting between the two in the regular season.
"This is a real collision of style of game. It will be a test of who drags the run and gun out of the other team," said Maurice. "I don't want to speak for (Stars head coach) Lindy (Ruff), but when you understand it, when people are going in the manner they're supposed to, there is a band of exciting hockey that both teams are capable of playing.
"Then just outside that band of exciting hockey comes exciting for both teams. We'd both like our team to be an exciting team to play, and not have the other team be."
Video: PREGAME | Jacob Trouba
A win tonight would be the first for the Jets on the home stand, which has seen losses to Minnesota, Chicago, and Tampa Bay. Combine that with a 5-2 loss to Colorado on Feb. 4, and the Jets have lost four straight.
The time is now to right the ship, not only for the points, but to get some momentum heading into a four-game road trip through the Eastern Conference, all against teams who currently hold a playoff spot.
"I don't think anybody liked our game or our effort (against Tampa Bay) for the most of it," said Jacob Trouba. "We're going to see what kind of team we have, what kind of character we have, in how we come out in this game."
Puck drop is 7 pm CT on TSN 3 and TSN 1290.
Video: PREGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers
Maurice also updated the status of a few injured Jets this morning.
Julian Melchiori was recalled as the team waits for the swelling around Toby Enstrom's lower body injury to subside. Enstrom will not travel with the team on the four-game trip.
In a corresponding roster move, Ondrej Pavelec was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 7 with his lower body injury. Pavelec skated on his own yesterday, and then again this morning, and is expected to travel with the team on Wednesday.
Finally, Marko Dano - out for the last 20 games with a lower body injury - had been skating in a non-contact jersey, but a minor tweak set him back. Maurice still feels the forward will progress and be close to returning "pretty soon."
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets finish a four-game home stand tonight against the visiting Dallas Stars, who are making their third and final trip to MTS Centre this season…The Jets lost 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night and look to end a four-game losing streak tonight…Jacob Trouba scored the lone goal for the Jets against Tampa…The Stars lost 5-3 to the Nashville Predators on Sunday and have one win in their last six games…After tonight's game, the Jets begin a four-game Eastern Conference road trip Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Jets are 13-7-1 against Central Division teams this season, including 6-2-0 at home…After winning nine in a row against the Central Division, the Jets have lost three in a row to their Central Division counterparts…Including tonight, the Jets have played a Central Division team in seven of their last eight games…In the month of February, Winnipeg plays seven of its 11 games within the Central Division.
The Jets home losing streak has reached five games, which is a season high…The last time the Jets lost five games in a row at home was a six-game losing streak Feb. 2-Mar. 3/16 (0-5-1)…With four losses overall in a row, a win tonight prevents the Jets from matching a season-high five-game losing streak from Nov. 17-25/16.
The Jets have given up three goals more in each of their last 15 games and 19 of their last 21 games…Since Dec. 29, the Jets have allowed 79 goals in 21 games, which is the most in the NHL…The only other team in the NHL to have allowed more than 70 goals during that time is the Dallas Stars, who have allowed 73 goals in their last 21 games.
Special Teams Notes
- The Jets have scored a power play goal in five of their last seven games (26.3%, 5-for-19).
- The Jets have played 36:43 more on the power play than on the penalty kill at home this season, but have played 44:24 more on the penalty kill than on the power play on the road.
- The Jets have been shorthanded 67 times in the third period this season, which is the most in the league.
- The Jets have gone three consecutive games without allowing a power play goal from the first time since Jan. 4-9.
Face Off Man
Bryan Little is 10th in the NHL in face offs, having won 56.1% of his draws this season…He's won more than 60% of his face offs in back-to-back games (64.1%, 25-for-39)…Little is the only member of the Jets to have taken more than 200 face offs and won more than 50% of them.
Trouba Continues to Produce
In 43 games, defenceman Jacob Trouba has surpassed the 21 points he put up last season in 81 games…He has five goals and 19 assists this season for 24 points and has a point in six of his last seven home games…He's also on a three-game point streak…Trouba has a career-high 0.56 points-per-game this season and defensively has 24 takeaways, which is seven away from the career-high 31 takeaways he registered as a rookie in 65 games.
Jets vs. Stars All-Time Records
At MTS Centre: 5-5-0