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Preview: Stars at Jets

Injured forward Jason Spezza unlikely for Dallas; slumping Winnipeg aims to stay positive

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

STARS (3-2-1) at JETS (2-4-0)

8 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-SW, NHL.TV

 

Stars team scope

Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza is expected to miss his second straight game with an undisclosed injury, coach Lindy Ruff said. Despite the Stars missing six of their starting 12 forwards, Ruff is happy with his depth. "If you look at the goals they've chipped, [Adam] Cracknell, [Brett] Ritchie, [Devin] Shore, the likes of those players have done a nice job filling in," Ruff said. "I think it's our depth that has really served us well. Those guys have been a big part of us winning games." Goalie Antti Niemi will start after making 28 saves in a 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. "It starts in practice for him, in every drill and every shot he takes," Stars forward Jamie Benn said. "He's a fun goalie to watch. It's not the prettiest style but he gets it done and that's all that matters for us."

 

Jets team scope

Winnipeg is in the midst of 16 games in 29 days, including 10 on the road. "We played every second night from the end of February last year to the end of the year," coach Paul Maurice said. "We started to do different things with our recovery, trying different things with the idea of saving more on the ice." The Jets have lost four of their past five games, have been outscored 12-2 in the second period, have yet to hold a lead in the third and have played with the lead for 17:02 this season. "You can't be negative," forward Shawn Matthias said. "You can't dwell on the past. You can't be upset when the puck doesn't go in the net because it doesn't do you any good. You're just going to get a headache from it. When you get negative on yourself, that's when you start gripping the stick too hard and maybe you don't even get those chances."

 

Stars projected lineup

Antoine Roussel -- Tyler Seguin -- Lauri Korpikoski

Jamie Benn -- Radek Faksa -- Patrick Eaves

Curtis McKenzie -- Devin Shore -- Brett Ritchie

Gemel Smith -- Justin Dowling -- Adam Cracknell

Patrik Nemeth -- John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis -- Esa Lindell

Johnny Oduya -- Jordie Benn

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Stephen Johns, Jamie Oleksiak

Injured: Jason Spezza (undisclosed), Ales Hemsky (groin), Jiri Hudler (illness), Patrick Sharp (concussion-like symptoms), Cody Eakin (knee), Mattias Janmark (knee)

 

Jets projected lineup

Patrik Laine -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mathieu Perreault - Kyle Connor

Shawn Matthias -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Brandon Tanev -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Chris Thorburn

Josh Morrissey -- Dustin Byfuglien

Tobias Enstrom -- Tyler Myers

Mark Stuart -- Paul Postma

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Ben Chiarot

Injured: Bryan Little (lower body), Drew Stafford (upper body)

 

Status report

The Stars are expected to use the same lineup from their win Tuesday. … Hellebuyck will start his fourth game with the Jets continuing to alternate goalies. … Stafford is day to day with a lower-injury. … Maurice said Little will be out until at least the end of November.

 

Who's hot

Scheifele has seven points in six games, including goals in four games. … Armia has five points in his past five games against the Stars. … Seguin has points in seven consecutive games against the Jets, and has 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in 14 games against Winnipeg as a member of the Stars.

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