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Stars-Jets Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars


Tuesday December 9, 2014
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Channel Guide)
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (10-12-5) snapped a four-game winless streak with a 4-1 win over Montreal at American Airlines Center Saturday. The Stars allowed just 17 shots on goal, a season-best in that category.

"That's the way we need to play -- a lot of smart decisions, real good puck management,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “You can win a lot of games playing like that.”

Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg is a key one for the Stars, who are looking for their first win against a Central Division foe and are trying to gain ground in the playoff race. The Jets currently hold the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference and are eight points ahead of the Stars.

“It’s not only a divisional game, it’s every game right now,” said Stars center Vernon Fiddler. “We have to find ways to get in the battles every game and compete like we did most of last game. It doesn’t matter if it’s divisional, we’re playing out of conference or whatever it is, we just have to find as many points as we can get. But those points are huge. You look at the standings, we’re eight points back for that wild card spot. We have to start making up ground, so these conference and divisional games are huge.”

Defenseman Alex Goligoski (maintenance) and forward Shawn Horcoff (illness) did not practice Monday.

Tuesday’s game is the second of a three-game homestand for the Stars.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Jets

The Jets (14-9-5) are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Anaheim in Winnipeg on Sunday that extended their points streak to six games (4-0-2). The Jets scored with 4:45 left in the third period to force extra playing time, but Kyle Palmieri scored 53 seconds into OT to give the Ducks the extra point.

"It’s a disappointing result, but a very well-played game," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Jets forward Evander Kane was assessed a checking from behind major in the game for a hit on Anaheim’s Clayton Stoner. The NHL suspended Kane two games Monday, so Kane will sit out Tuesday’s game vs. the Stars.

The Jets recalled forward Patrice Cormier from St. John’s of the AHL Monday.

Tuesday’s game kicks off a two-game road trip for the Jets, who also play at Colorado on Thursday.

Injuries: LW Evander Kane (suspension), D Zach Bogosian (lower body), D Tobias Enstrom (lower body) and D Grant Clitsome (upper body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the first of four meetings between the Stars and Jets this season.

*The Stars were 3-1-1 (7 points) vs. Winnipeg last season.

*The Jets were 2-3-0 (4 points) vs. Dallas last season.

*The Stars are 14-3-2 all-time vs. Winnipeg, including 7-1-1 in Dallas.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 5-5-5 at home, but 4-0-1 in the last five.

The Jets are 8-4-3 on the road, including 2-0-2 in the last four.

*The Stars are 0-6-3 vs. the Central Division.

*The Jets are 4-3-1 vs. the Central Division.

*Heading into Monday’s games, the Jets led the NHL in penalty minutes (425), minor penalties (130) and the number of times shorthanded (107).

*The Stars have accumulated the 14th most penalty minutes (282), are tied for the 13th most minors (104) and have been shorthanded 96 times, which ranked eighth highest heading into Monday’s games.

*The Stars are 3-9 on the power play over the last two games.

*The Jets are 6-21 on the power play over the last six games.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (21) and points (35).

*Bryan Little leads the Jets in goals (11) and Andrew Ladd leads the Jets in points (21).

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

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