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Stars-Jets Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets

Saturday January 31, 2015
6:00 p.m.
TV: TXA-21
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (22-19-7) won 6-3 at Ottawa Thursday, snapping a two-game losing streak. Defenseman John Klingberg’s goal midway through the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and held up as the game-winner for the Stars, who squandered a 3-0 lead in the game.

“We knew it was their first game back from the break, and we wanted to jump on them quick,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley, who had one goal and two assists in the game. “We did a good job, but we didn’t put it down on them. They made some good plays and came back, but we found a way to win and that’s what we want to do.”

The Stars are four points out of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. They are nine points behind the Jets, who hold the first wild card spot.

“I think there is a shot (at catching Winnipeg),” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “This is a must-win if we are looking at a shot of catching up to them. We know that we are going to have to play well. We know they are going to be fired up being back here.”

Saturday’s game wraps up a three-game road trip for the Stars, who are 1-1-0 in the first two games.

Injuries: LW Erik Cole (upper body) and RW Brett Ritchie (undisclosed) are questionable. RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Jets

The Jets (26-16-8) lost 5-2 at Philadelphia Thursday. It was the second straight loss for the Jets, who were outscored 10-5 in a two-game road trip coming out of the All-Star break. They lost 5-3 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

“It is not as far off as you think here," Jets coach Paul Maurice said of his team’s play. “We are not quite as quick maybe as we were when we went into the break, but it always feels more extreme than it is. It is not that extreme. ... We played pretty well, but we had a tough trip, and we will get back at it when we get home.”

The consecutive losses come after the Jets went into the break on a five-game winning streak.

The Jets assigned forward TJ Galiardi to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League on Friday. The Jets then recalled Galiardi and placed forward Matt Halischuk on injured reserve.

Injuries: F Matt Halischuk (undisclosed) and D Grant Clitsome (back) are out.

Series Notes

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

*The Stars are 0-2-0 in the series.

*Dec. 9, at Dallas: Jets 5, Stars 2

*Jan. 14, at Dallas: Jets 2, Stars 1

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 6-2-2 in their last ten games on the road.

*The Jets are 4-1-0 in their last five games at home.

*The Stars are 3-9-5 vs. the Central Division.

*The Jets are 9-4-2 vs. the Central.

*The Stars are 5-21 (23.8 percent) on the power play over their last five games.

*The Jets are 9-13 (69.2 percent) on the penalty kill over their last four games.

*Dallas’ Trevor Daley and Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien are tied for second in goal scoring among NHL defensemen with 12.

*Dallas’ John Klingberg is tied for the lead among rookie defensemen in goals (7) and ranks second in points (20).

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has registered eight points (four goals, four assists) over his last five games.

*Jets forward Mathieu Perreault has scored 13 goals over his last 16 games.

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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