Stars Look to Stay on Track vs. Jets

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 12:57 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Look to Stay on Track vs. Jets

It will be Kari Lehtonen vs. Al Montoya in goal when the Dallas Stars take on the Winnipeg Jets tonight at American Airlines Center.

The Stars, who are two points behind Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, are looking to build on Saturday’s 3-1 win over Ottawa, which ended a four-game winless streak.

“I think it’s really what we’ve fought for all year – to be in position to be in a playoff spot,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “In our case, we had a little bump in the road but we bounced back. The last two periods in Philly was a game we probably should have won but didn’t win and then we came back home and carried that into probably the last 50 minutes that we were able to push through a win a game. We have to continue to do that. We know that no team’s going win all their games, just basically the record you got and the average you’ve been going at is probably where you’re going to end up. So, we got to make sure that we’re winning two out of three, two out of three and that will keep us moving up.”

The Jets, who are six points out of the final playoff spot and have played more games than both Phoenix and Dallas, are in a position where they have to win out to have a chance.

The Jets defeated the Stars, 7-2, in Winnipeg last Sunday, and the Stars are looking for some payback in the season series finale.

“In Winnipeg, they came out flying and they were a lot more ready than us,” said Stars center Tyler Seguin. “Tonight we want to give them the same kind of outcome they gave us. They’re a good team. It’s going to be a playoff-type game, but we want to be the more prepared team tonight.”

It appears the Dallas Stars will go with the same lineup as last game, except for one change. The Stars sent forward Chris Mueller back to the Texas Stars of the AHL and recalled forward Dustin Jeffrey from Texas.

Jeffrey, who was claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh in November, has one assist in 12 games with Dallas this season. Jeffrey was sent to the AHL in January to get some playing time. He has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last nine games with Texas.

“It was nice to go down there, play consistently and play a lot of minutes,” Jeffrey said. “It’s nice to get the confidence back. The team is playing really well down there and now that I am back up here, I want to contribute.”

Based on this morning’s skate, it appears Jeffrey will center a line with Shawn Horcoff and Alex Chiasson.

Eric Cole, who is day to day with an upper body injury, did not skate this morning.

Kevin Connauton was the last player off the ice for the Stars, so it appears he will be the scratch on defense for the third straight game.

Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd will miss tonight’s game due to his wife giving birth. Defenseman Zach Bogosian, who left Saturday’s game against Carolina with an upper body injury, is listed as doubtful for tonight. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec will miss his fifth straight game with a lower body injury.

Monday’s game

Who: Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinValeri Nichushkin
Ray WhitneyCody EakinColton Sceviour
Antoine RousselVernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt
Shawn HorcoffDustin JeffreyAlex Chiasson

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Aaron RomeSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Tim Thomas

Jets projected lineup

Evander Kane – Bryan Little – Michael Frolik
Eric O’Dell – Jim Slater – Devin Setoguchi
Dustin Byfuglien – Olli Jokinen – Blake Wheeler
Eric Tangradi – Patrice Cormier – Matt Halischuk

Tobias Enstrom – Keaton Ellerby
Mark Stuart – Jacob Trouba
Adam Pardy – Paul Postma

Al Montoya
Michael Hutchinson

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.




1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47


J. Benn 53 28 31 15 59
T. Seguin 53 28 28 10 56
J. Klingberg 53 8 35 14 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 53 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 53 10 13 1 23
A. Goligoski 53 3 20 17 23
M. Janmark 53 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 51 8 10 5 18
V. Nichushkin 50 6 12 7 18
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .907 2.82 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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