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Stars-Jets Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars

Thursday January 15, 2015
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (19-16-7) are coming off a 5-4 win over Ottawa Tuesday at American Airlines Center. The Stars were down 3-1 after one period but scored four times in the second period to take a 5-3 lead in the game.

“We might have played one of our worst first periods and then one of our best second periods,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “It was a real hard battle to stay in there and come back in the second period. It could have been a game that got away from us but everybody dug in, and we found a way to win.”

Kari Lehtonen got the start in goal Tuesday but was pulled in the first period after allowing two goals on five shots. Anders Lindback played the rest of the way and stopped 34 of 36 shots as the Stars rallied to win.

The Stars snapped a four-game winless streak with the victory and moved to within four points of Vancouver, which holds the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. The Stars are seven points behind Winnipeg, which holds the first wild card spot.

Stars center Vernon Fiddler, who missed Tuesday’s game with a lower body injury, practiced Wednesday and could play Thursday.

Thursday’s game is the second of a three-game homestand for Dallas.

Injuries: C Vernon Fiddler (lower body) is questionable. RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Jets

The Jets (22-14-8) are coming off an 8-2 win over Florida in Winnipeg on Tuesday. Mathieu Perreault scored four goals for the Jets.

“I'm happy for [Perreault] because he has done it the right way,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “He works so hard. He went through that stretch where he wasn't scoring, and his practices got even more competitive, and he worked even harder. Good for him. It's a good sell for the coaches, because if you work that hard, good things are going to happen.”

The Jets have put together a three-game points streak (2-0-1) following a stretch that saw them lose four of five (1-4-0).

Tuesday’s win was the 500th in Maurice’s NHL coaching career. He became the second-youngest NHL head coach (47) to earn 500 NHL wins. Scotty Bowman (45) was the youngest.

Thursday’s game is the first game of a back-to-back for the Jets, who play at Chicago on Friday.

Injuries: D Grant Clitsome (back) and D Jacob Trouba (upper body) are out.

Series Notes

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

*Winnipeg won the first meeting, defeating the Stars, 5-2, in Dallas on Dec. 9.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 4-1-0 in their past five home games and 9-3-1 in their past 13 at American Airlines Center.

*The Jets are 6-3-1 in their past ten road games and are 12-5-5 away from home this season.

*The Stars are 2-7-5 vs. the Central Division.

*The Jets are 7-4-2 vs. Central Division.

*The Jets have scored 16 goals over their past three games.

*The Stars have allowed four goals or more in four of their last five games.

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 60-48 in second periods this season. The 60 second-period goals are the most in the NHL.

*The Jets are 9-34 (26.5 percent) on the power play over the past eight games.

*The Jets have allowed ten power play goals over the past seven games and are 27-37 (73.0 percent) on the penalty kill during that stretch.

*Stars forward Ales Hemsky has five goals in his past eight games.

*Jets captain Andrew Ladd is on a seven-game points streak (four goals, five assists).

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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