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Stars-Jets Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars
Thursday, February 2
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (21-20-10) came out of the NHL's All-Star break with a 6-3 win over Toronto Tuesday. Devin Shore and Brett Ritchie both recorded one goal and one assist for the Stars, who scored five goals in the first period.

"I thought we came out with a lot of energy and skated well," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "We got a good effort right off the bat from every line. We played our best first period all year."

Twelve different Dallas players registered points in the game, and goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 40 shots as the Stars ran their points streak to four games (2-0-2).

Thursday's game pits the Stars against one of the teams they are battling for a playoff spot. Both the Stars and Jets have 52 points.

"It's a team we're fighting with, and they've kind of had our number a little bit with the two games in Winnipeg," Stars forward Jason Spezza said, "We have to make sure that we're ready to go and it's a big game for us."

Thursdays' game is the fifth of a six-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: D Johnny Oduya (lower body), D Jamie Oleksiak (hand), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

About the Jets

Winnipeg (24-25-4) won 5-3 at St. Louis Tuesday. The Jets fell behind 1-0 early in the game but scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead and then held off the Blues the rest of the way to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.

"We know they're big games," said Jets center Mark Scheifele. "We know they're important and we've got to buckle down for them, and that's what we've done this year, and we've got to continue to do it."

Scheifle and Blake Wheeler both had one goal and two assists for the Jets, who improved to 4-2-0 over their past six games.

Thursday's game is the third of four straight on the road for Winnipeg.

Injuries: D Tyler Myers (lower body), C Marko Dano (lower body), D Ben Chiarot (upper body), RW Drew Stafford (lower body) and C Mathieu Perreault (upper body) are on injured reserve.

Season Series

*The Stars are 1-2-0 in the season series (2 points) vs. Winnipeg.

*The Jets are 2-1-0 (4 points) vs. Dallas.

*Oct. 25, at Dallas: Stars 3, Jets 2
*Oct. 27, at Winnipeg: Jets 4, Stars 1
*Nov. 8, at Winnipeg: Jets 8, Stars 2

Statistical Tidbits

*The Stars are 14-7-6 at home.

*The Jets are 11-14-3 on the road.

*The Stars are 8-9-4 vs. the Central Division.

*The Jets are 12-4-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Jets ranked fourth in the NHL in goal scoring in January (3.71 per game).

*The Stars ranked sixth in goal scoring in January (3.38 per game).

*The Stars ranked 28th in goals against in January (3.54 per game).

*The Jets ranked 25th in goals against in January (3.36 per game).

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 90-82 during five-on-five play this season.

*The Jets have been outscored 106-96 during five-on-five play.

*The Stars have scored on the power play in six of their past eight games and are 6-25 (24.0 percent) during that stretch.

*The Stars have allowed a power-play goal in 12 of the past 14 games and are 28-46 (60.9 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin is tied for seventh in the league in scoring with 49 points (18 goals, 31 assists).

*Jets forward Mark Scheifele is tied for fifth in the league in scoring with 51 points (23 goals, 28 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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