It appears that Jhonas Enroth will make a second consecutive start when the Dallas Stars take on the Winnipeg Jets tonight at MTS Centre. Enroth was the first goaltender off the ice for the Stars, indicating he will man the net tonight. It will be Enroth’s third start for the Stars and the first time he hasn’t started on the second night of a back-to-back.
Enroth was in goal Sunday night in Minnesota when the Wild scored six times in the third period to defeat the Stars, 6-2. Dallas has allowed 18 goals over the past three games, all losses.
“We’ve got to play better defensively,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We’ve had good periods defensively and we had a disastrous period in Minnesota. It’s that foundation – if you play well in your own end then everything builds from there.”
The Stars come into tonight’s game six points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are eight points behind Winnipeg, which holds the first wild-card spot in the West. As was the case in their recent games, it’s a big one for the Stars.
“We’re still a little bit back and we’ve got ground to make up,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “We’ve got to come out with a strong effort and try to get two points.”
Ruff made some changes to his forward lines at this morning’s skate. Ryan Garbutt is moving back to his usual spot on a line with Cody Eakin and Antoine Roussel. Brett Ritchie, who had been on the Eakin line the past couple games, skated on the fourth line with Shawn Horcoff and Colton Sceviour this morning.
Klingberg vs. Klingberg
Stars defenseman John Klingberg is expected to square off against his older brother, Carl, in tonight’s game. The Jets recalled Carl Klingberg from the AHL last week due to injuries at the forward position. This will be the first time the two brothers have played against each other since they were kids.
“Its’ going to be fun. Obviously, it is a big thing for us to play against each other,” John Klingberg said. “We played one game against each other when we were kids. That was special, but it is going to be more special this time.”
That first time was an Under-13 game, and it got a little chippy between the Klingberg brothers.
“We both took a faceoff and he cross-checked me,” said John.
Forward Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg’s third leading scorer - is out tonight with a lower-body injury. Dustin Byfuglien will move from defense to forward. Michael Hutchinson gets the start in goal. He’s given up four goals in each of his last three starts, but the Jets won two of them and picked up a point in the other. Winnipeg comes into tonight’s game in the first wild-card spot in the West, but they are just three points ahead of both ninth-place Calgary and tenth-place San Jose.
Who: Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets
Where: MTS Centre
When: 7:00 p.m.
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Erik Cole
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Curtis McKenzie – Vernon Fiddler – Ales Hemsky
Brett Ritchie – Shawn Horcoff – Colton Sceviour
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Jyrki Jokipakka – Trevor Daley
Jordie Benn – Jason Demers
Scratched: David Schlemko
Injured: Tyler Seguin (knee), Patrick Eaves (concussion), Travis Moen (upper body), Valeri Nichushkin (hip)
Jets projected lineup
Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Michael Frolik
Drew Stafford – Mark Scheifele – Dustin Byfuglien
TJ Galiardi – Adam Lowry – Chris Thorburn
Anthony Peluso – Jim Slater – Carl Klingberg
Tyler Myers – Toby Enstrom
Mark Stuart – Jacob Trouba
Jay Harrison – Adam Pardy
Scratched: Paul Postma, Eric O’Dell
Injured: Blake Wheeler (lower body), Ben Chiarot (hand), Grant Clitsome (back), Matt Halischuk (lower body), Mathieu Perreault (lower body)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.