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Stars-Jets Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets

Saturday, December 14
2:00 p.m.
TV: TXA-21
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (14-11-5) opened a three-game road trip against Central Division opponents with a 3-1 loss at Nashville Thursday. The Predators scored on both ends of a five-on-three power play late in the first period to take a 2-1 lead in the game. The loss was the second straight for the Stars, who fell to 3-4-3 over their last ten games.

“These are the big ones, we have two more big ones on this road trip to turn it around,” said Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski. “Not the way we wanted to start it, but that’s the beauty of hockey. You have to prove it every day. We’ll get back at it in Winnipeg.”

Colton Sceviour, who was called up from the AHL earlier in the week and has been a healthy scratch the past two games, is expected to play Saturday against the Jets. Sceviour is the top goal scorer in the AHL with 18 in 26 games and he is tied for fourth in the AHL with 6 power play goals. Sceviour practiced on one of the power play units Friday.

“We’re going to take a look at it,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff . “We went through the game and we had seven or eight really good chances and didn’t score again, and that’s the spot he plays down there. We’ll give him a shot and take a look.”

Stars center Vernon Fiddler is not expected to play Saturday due to an upper body injury that has kept him out the past two games.

Kari Lehtonen is the likely starter in goal for the Stars on Saturday.

Injuries: C Vernon Fiddler (upper body), D Trevor Daley (ankle) and D Stephane Robidas (leg) are out.

About the Jets

The Jets (14-14-5) are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to Colorado in Winnipeg on Thursday. The Jets had a 2-0 lead in the game, gave up three straight goals and then scored midway through the third to tie the contest and force extra playing time.

"It's a tough point to lose," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "I don't know that we deserved to win, but we could have won. I think that what it shows is that winning in the National Hockey League is not an easy process, and it's difficult to change the way that things function."

The Jets have lost four of their last six games, including the first two of their current homestand.

"Right now, we are a .500 hockey team, and .500 isn't good enough," Noel said. "It's not going to cut it, and it hasn't cut it in the past. This year in the [Western Conference], it's not even close."

Jets center Evander Kane, who has missed the last five games with a lower body injury, practiced Friday. He is doubtful for Saturday. Jets captain Andrew Ladd did not practice Friday, but Noel said Ladd would play Saturday.

Injuries: C Evander Kane (lower body) is doubtful. D Zach Bogosian (groin), D Paul Postma (leg) and C Jim Slater (sports hernia) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars are 1-0-1 (3 points) in the season series.

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

*Oct. 11, Dallas at Winnipeg: Stars 4, Jets 1

*Oct. 26, Winnipeg at Dallas: Jets 2, Stars 1 (SO)

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 2-6-3 vs. the Central Division.

*The Jets are 3-10-3 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 3-4-3 in their last ten games.

*The Jets are 4-4-2 in their last ten games.

*The Jets are 3-10 (30.0 percent) on the power play over their last two games.

*The Stars are 2-30 (6.7) percent on the power play over their last nine games.

*The Jets are 20-22 (90.9 percent) on the penalty kill over their last nine games

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (15) and points (27).

*Bryan Little leads the Jets in goals (13) and points (29).

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 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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