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Stars-Jets Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets
Thursday, October 27
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (3-2-1) took the first game of the home-and-home series with Winnipeg, defeating the Jets, 3-2, at American Airlines Center on Tuesday. Antti Niemi stopped 28 shots as the Stars snapped a two-game losing streak.

"I think we were all on the same page tonight. We had a good video session and corrected some things," said forward Patrick Eaves, who scored his 100th career goal. "We had young guys come and step up and play with great pace and then we had goaltending that was great. It started from the goaltending out tonight, and I just thought we were all on the same page."

Now, the Stars and Jets will square off again, this time in Winnipeg.

"I like the back-to-back. I like playing the same team in a short period of time," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "It builds emotion within the game; there's usually something that will carry over."

C Jason Spezza, who missed Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury, did not practice Wednesday and is doubtful for Thursday. RW Jiri Hudler, who has missed four games due to illness, practiced Wednesday, but is still not ready to play.

Thursday's game kicks off a stretch of three straight on the road for Dallas.

Injuries: C Jason Spezza (lower body) is doubtful. RW Ales Hemsky (groin), RW Jiri Hudler (illness), RW Patrick Sharp (concussion-like symptoms), C Cody Eakin (knee) and C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) are on injured reserve.

About the Jets

Tuesday's loss to the Stars was the fourth in the past five games for the Jets (2-4-0). Winnipeg had several quality chances in Tuesday's game, but couldn't finish against Stars goaltender Antti Niemi.

"I liked the offense tonight more than any other night we've played. I liked our overall 60-minute game," said Jets coach Paul Maurice. "Our second period might have been our best period of the game, and we have struggled with that. I thought we worked our tails off. I thought we were hard forechecking and hard-driving and if we just play that game for all 82, we'll take it all day long, and we will take those chances."

Tuesday's game was physical, and there was a big scrum in the final minute, and Maurice said he expects that to carry over into Thursday's game.

"Those things usually do," Maurice said. "There was good energy tonight on the ice. There was a lot of action, a lot of chirping, a lot of sticks, so yes I would expect it to (be physical)."

Injuries: C Bryan Little (lower body) is out.

Season Series

*This is the second of five meetings between the Stars and Jets.

*The Stars won the first game of the series, 3-2, in Dallas on Tuesday.

*The Stars are 5-1-0 in their past six games against the Jets.

*The Stars are 5-2-0 in Winnipeg over the past three seasons.

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 2-1-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Jets are 0-2-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 1-1-0 on the road.

*The Jets are 2-2-0 at home.

*The Jets have been outscored 12-2 in second periods this season.

*The Stars have been outscored 8-6 in second periods.

*Through six games, the Jets have played with the lead a total of 17:02.

*The Jets have scored four goals this season with the goaltender pulled and an extra attacker on the ice.

*Through Tuesday, Dallas' Devin Shore and Winnipeg's Patrik Laine were tied for third in rookie scoring in the NHL with six points. Shore has one goal and five assists. Laine has four goals and two assists. 

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 reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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