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GAME DAY: Jets continue road trip in Dallas

7:30pm CT - TV: TSN3; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 / WinnipegJets.com

Video: JetsTV Road Report

DALLAS, TX - With two straight wins, there are good vibes around the Winnipeg Jets dressing room.

The news today made it even better.

Mathieu Perreault returns to the line-up tonight as the Jets play game two of a three-game road trip against the Dallas Stars.

"It was pretty much my call to see how I felt," said Perreault. "It felt great this morning. It seemed every day it got better, so I'm going to give it a try today.

"I'm just happy to be back in the line-up."

Video: PREGAME | Mathieu Perreault

Perreault has missed the last three games with a broken finger, but says he will wear a splint and add some extra padding to his glove tonight.

"The pain is still going to be there for a little bit. It is what it is," Perreault said. "You just have to kind of battle through it. But it was good enough for me to go."

The 29-year-old had five assists in his last five games prior to suffering the injury against the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 23. Head coach Paul Maurice said he'll keep most of the lines as they were in Tuesday's 5-3 win over St. Louis, but will slot Perreault in with Nic Petan.

In addition, Maurice says Perreault's left-handed shot is key to running the team's power play.

"Early in the year we saw how difficult it was to run a power play without having that lefty on that side with all the right-handed guys," said Maurice.

The Jets and the Stars faced off three times in Winnipeg's first 14 games, with the Jets winning the latter two by a combined score of 12-3. But Adam Lowry says this Stars team is much different than the one the Jets faced in November.

"Early on in the year they were missing a lot of key forwards up front. Spezza, Sharp, Eakin, guys like that," said Lowry. "Now it really gives them a lot of firepower and depth up front. We know they can score goals. They're a quick transition team."

Video: PREGAME | Adam Lowry

Maurice says the Stars have faced similar adversity to what the Jets have faced this season, citing the near equal man games lost to injury and early season schedule as examples.

He believes tonight's match up between the two teams - both tied with 52 points, three back of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference - will come down to defending.

"We can both score goals. So who defends the best wins the game," said Maurice. "At the same time, both teams' strengths are moving forward with the puck and making the most of the chances. That means the goalies are going to have to be good."

Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice

Look no further than the month of January for how well the Jets can score. The 52 goals put up by the team was the second most in the NHL. The Stars are fifth on that list, meaning the focus needs to be on avoiding a track meet style of game. But Maurice says that discussion happens almost every day.

"That's the area of improvement for our team. That confidence and patience not to force a game," said Maurice. "You're going to score enough goals by just making your plays when they're there. We don't tell them to dump every puck. We don't want to do that. We want to control pucks, we want to make plays, but we've got to do it at the right time."

Ondrej Pavelec starts in goal for the Jets, while Kari Lehtonen will counter for the Stars. Puck drop is set for 7:30 pm CT.

- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com

JETS GAME NOTES

Tonight's Game

The Winnipeg Jets continue a four-game road trip tonight against the Dallas Stars…The Jets have won two in a row, including a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday…Mark Scheifele (1g, 2a) and Blake Wheeler (1g, 2a) each had three points in the win against the Blues…The Stars enter tonight's game with points in four straight games, including a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday…The Jets finish the road trip Saturday afternoon against the Colorado Avalanche.

Central Success

The Jets are 12-4-1 against Central Division teams this season, including 6-4-1 on the road…The Jets have won five in a row on the road against the Central Division…tonight is third of six straight games the Jets play against Central Division teams…In the month of February, Winnipeg plays seven of its 11 games within the Central Division…Overall, the Jets have won seven straight games against Central Division teams.

Eventful January

The Jets scored the second most goals in the NHL in January with 52, but also gave up the most goals in January with 47…Winnipeg averaged 3.7 goals per game in January, compared to 2.9 goals per game for the entire season…The Jets set a franchise record for most goals scored in January…The Jets took 447 shots in January, which was second in the NHL, but gave up 452 shots, which was the third most in the NHL last month.

Back-to-Back Wins

With the two wins in their last two games, the Jets have won back-to-back games 10 times this season and can win three straight for the first time this season with a victory tonight...Last season, the Jets won back-to-back games 10 times, but didn't win three in a row until winning the final four games of the season…Dating back to last season, the Jets are 1-17-2 in games when they have the opportunity to win three consecutive games.

Special Teams Notes

- The Jets have played 33:19 more on the power play than on the penalty kill at home this season, but have played 48:26 more on the penalty kill than on the power play on the road.
- The Jets have been shorthanded 64 times in the third period this season, which is tied for the most in the league.
- The Jets have given up a league high 287 shots when shorthanded this season.
- Winnipeg is 5-for-18 (27.8%) on the power play in their last five games.
- Tuesday's game marked the first time in seven games that the Jets didn't allow a power play goal against.

Scheifele Surges Again

With a goal and two assists against St. Louis on Tuesday, Mark Scheifele moved into a tie for fifth in NHL scoring with 51 points (23g, 28a) in 50 games this season…Since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg in 2011, Scheifele is the only Jets player to reach 50 points in his first 50 games of a season…It's also the 15th time in the last six seasons that a member of the Jets has scored 50 points in a season…In the last calendar year, Scheifele is third in NHL scoring with 88 points (40g, 48a) in 83 games, trailing only Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Edmonton's Connor McDavid…In his last 20 games, Scheifele has 23 points (9g, 14a) and hasn't gone back-to-back games without a point since Dec. 11-15.

Laine Streaks

Rookie Patrik Laine scored in the second period on Tuesday against the Blues to extend his scoring streak to seven games (4g, 7a)…It matches Nikolaj Ehlers for the longest scoring streak by a member of the Jets this season…With 41 points (23g, 18a) in 45 games, Laine is tied for the NHL rookie scoring lead.

More Streakers

Aside from Laine, Bryan Little registered an assist against St. Louis to extend his point streak to six games (6g, 4a)…Blake Wheeler (1g, 4a) and Josh Morrissey (4a) are on three-game point streaks.

Jets vs. Stars All-Time Records

Overall: 11-18-2
At American Airlines Center: 5-8-1

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