Through their first six games, the Winnipeg Jets had played with a lead for only 17:02. Thursday night against the Stars they played with the lead for 59:45. The Jets scored 15 seconds into the game and never looked back, defeating the Stars, 4-1, at MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
"We got off to a tough start with that first shot going in," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "But I thought our work ethic was good."
Special teams were another matter. The Stars were 1-6 on the power play and missed on a five-on-three opportunity that could have tied the game 1-1 in the first period. The Jets were 2-7 on the power play and cashed in on a five-on-three opportunity that extended their lead to 3-0.
"[The difference] was special teams," Ruff said. "I thought five-on-five we probably had the edge in the chances, but on special teams, they generated a lot of energy and a couple goals."
Tyler Seguin scored the lone goal for the Stars, and Antti Niemi stopped 32 shots. The Stars, who have lost three of their past four games, are 3-3-1 on the season.
"It's early in the season, but we have some work to do," Seguin said. "It's a learning curve for all teams. For us, obviously, there are a lot of guys out of the lineup right now. We are going to watch some tape and get better."
Rookie forward Patrik Laine scored two goals and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 38 shots for the Jets, who bounced back from a 3-2 loss in Dallas on Tuesday to get the split in the home-and-home series. The Jets are 3-4-0.
"We had a great three periods," Laine said. "We just kept going, and it was a solid 60 minutes."
The Jets jumped on the Stars on the first shift of the game, scoring at the 15-second mark when Tyler Myers put one past Niemi from the left point.
The Stars had a five-on-three power play for 1:16 later minutes into the period, but couldn't take advantage. Just after the Dallas chance expired, Niemi came up huge on Winnipeg's first power play, stopping all eight shots to keep it a 1-0 game.
But the Jets struck again later in the period, this time on a two-on-one rush. Nikolaj Ehlers set up Kyle Connor, who scored his first NHL goal to make it a 2-0 game at 16:12 of the first.
"The first goal is a special feeling," Connor said. "You work so hard to get to this point in your career, and it is nice to get rewarded."
The Jets made it a 3-0 game 4:30 into the second period when Laine scored on a five-on-three power play, ripping a shot from the top of the left circle past a screened Niemi.
The Stars cut into the lead early in the third when Seguin scored on the power play, beating Hellebuyck from the top of the right circle just 33 seconds into the period.
But Laine struck again on the power play midway through the third to extend the lead to 4-1, scoring off a snap shot from the top of the left circle at the 10:17 mark.
The Stars got a couple of power plays over the final half of the period, pulled Niemi to turn them into six-on-four advantages, but couldn't cash in and cut into the Winnipeg lead.
"We had a lot of chances," Seguin said. "They played hard. We competed, and we could have beared down on a few more chances. We're going to move on from this one and get ready for Minnesota [on Saturday]."
*The Stars outshot the Jets 39-36 and had a 72-55 advantage in shot attempts.
*Lauri Korpikoski led the Stars with 6 shots on goal. Devin Shore led the Stars with 9 shot attempts.
*Tyler Seguin's goal was his team-leading 4th of the season.
*Patrik Laine's goals were his 5th and 6th, tying him for the league lead.
*The Stars were 1-6 on the power play and 5-7 on the penalty kill.
*The Stars won 33 of 66 faceoffs (50 percent).
*Jamie Benn won 8 of 13 faceoffs (62 percent). Tyler Seguin won 6 of 12 (50 percent). Radek Faksa won 7 of 20 (35 percent). Devin Shore won 5 of 8 (63 percent).
*John Klingberg led Dallas with 22:24 of ice time. Dan Hamhuis was next with 22:18. Jamie Benn was tops among forwards with 22:09.
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
Scratched: Stephen Johns, Jamie Oleksiak
Injured: Jason Spezza (lower body), Ales Hemsky (groin), Jiri Hudler (illness), Patrick Sharp (concussion-like symptoms), Cody Eakin (knee), Mattias Janmark (knee)
This story was not subject to 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.