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Stars open road trip against Jets

by Mike Battaglino /

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


Season series: This is the first meeting since March 14, 2012, which was won by the Winnipeg Jets 5-2. The teams, which have played only that game since the Jets moved back to Winnipeg, meet five times this season as Western Conference opponents.

Big story: The Dallas Stars had five days off in between games and are starting a three-game road trip. After playing twice in the first eight days, they play six times in the next 10.

"When you're with each other (on the road) for six days straight, you either learn to like each other or dislike each other," forward Ray Whitney told Inside Edge on the Stars website. "It's an opportunity to get out early on the road for a fairly long trip to determine whether we really like each other or not."

Winnipeg lost at the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Thursday.

Team Scope:

Stars: The plan was to have Tyler Seguin move to his more natural position of center, but with fellow center Rich Peverley now practicing on the top line, Seguin could again find himself skating as a wing.

"On some of those setups [Rich would] just be the centerman," coach Lindy Ruff told Inside Edge. "It's a natural position for him, and Tyler is used to playing right. If they decide to switch on that, then he'll be the guy that is playing down low for a while."

This is the first road trip for the Stars as a member of the Central Division.

"The traveling is where the new division is really going to help," defenseman Stephane Robidas said. "Hopefully it can help us get better quality of sleep and less traveling. I think that could make a difference in the long run."

Backup goalie Dan Ellis could start this game or Saturday at Minnesota.

Jets: Winnipeg was 3-5-0 in the second game of a back-to-back last season, losing the last four by a combined score of 20-7.

Thursday, the Jets took 15 shots (one in the first 15 minutes of the second period), and scored their goal on a 5-on-3 power play.

"On the bright side of things, we have a game tomorrow and we have an opportunity to go back and get this thing on the right track and get going," coach Claude Noel said, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. "Because I think we can play a lot better."

The Jets lost 45 of 61 faceoffs to the Wild.

"It definitely makes the game a lot easier when you're starting out with the puck," captain Andrew Ladd said, according to the newspaper. "Especially on power plays, stuff like that.

"It would be nice to have a little more jump in our game, win some more battles. That'll be the key for us [Friday], to get back to battling the right way."

Who's hot: Stars forward Alex Chiasson has a goal in each of the first two games, and has scored at least one in six of his nine NHL games (eight total). … Jets defensemen Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom each has five assists.

Injury report: Stars defenseman Aaron Rome (hip) will travel with the team but is not expected to play on the trip. … Jets forward Chris Thorburn (lower body) is out.

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