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Stars Look to Stay on Track vs. Jets

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 1:57 PM / 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.

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 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 66 41 18 7 196 162 89
3 STL 64 40 19 5 198 162 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 MIN 64 35 22 7 181 164 77
6 VAN 64 36 24 4 184 176 76
7 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
8 CGY 64 35 25 4 182 165 74
9 LAK 64 31 21 12 175 167 74
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 DAL 65 29 26 10 203 215 68
12 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
13 ARI 65 21 37 7 142 220 49
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46


J. Benn 65 23 38 -3 61
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 65 15 37 -5 52
J. Klingberg 51 10 25 4 35
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
C. Eakin 62 15 15 -1 30
A. Goligoski 65 3 24 3 27
A. Hemsky 59 9 17 -9 26
A. Roussel 63 12 12 -12 24
S. Horcoff 61 9 14 3 23
K. Lehtonen 26 13 10 .905 2.98
J. Enroth 14 25 2 .901 3.26
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