courtesy of NHL.com

Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars Face Off For Final Time: Preview


The Winnipeg Jets (32-31-9) take to the ice against the Dallas Stars (33-26-11) for what will likely be the final meeting this year, with Winnipeg in desperate need of a win.

Mar 16, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Keaton Ellerby (7) battles Dallas Stars forward Antoine Roussel (21) while referee Lonnie Cameron (74) gets in the middle during the third period against the Dallas Stars at MTS Centre. Winnipeg wins 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The game comes just eight days after the Jets dismantled Dallas 7-2 in Winnipeg on March 16th. However, the Jets have dropped two of their three games since that day, and are now all but out of the playoff race. The Stars have also lost two of three since then, but were back in the “win” column on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Winnipeg holds the edge all-time between the teams, with a 3-2 record.

The Jets’ return to controversy in the crease on Monday, as Ondrej Pavelec may be ready to return from injury that sidelined him from four games.Back-up Al Montoya has a 2-2 record in that time, with a 2.75 GAA and a .900% save percentage. The Stars will start Kari Lehtonen for the third straight game since returning from injury, after the Jets lit up Tim Thomas in their last meeting. Lehtonen is 26-17-10 this season with a 2.49 GAA and .916% save percentage in 55 appearances this season.

The Jets are without Mark Scheifele, James Wright, and Chris Thorburn, while Zach Bogosian and Ondrej Pavelec will be game-time decisions for the club. Michael Hutchinson will back-up Montoya if Pavelec does not dress, and Eric O’Dell will remain in the lineup after Patrice Cormier and John Albert were sent down on Saturday. Dallas will make a game-time decision on Erik Cole, who has an undisclosed lower-body injury. Rich Peverley is out for the year after collapsing on the bench during a game just over a week ago.

Both teams are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture, although Dallas is in a substantially smaller hole than the Jets. Winnipeg (73 points) sits six points back of the Phoenix Coyotes (79 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, while the Stars (77 points) are only two points away. The Coyotes play the New York Rangers on Monday night, while the Vancouver Canucks (76 points) are inactive.

The Jets are 15-16-3 on the road this year, facing a Stars team that has a 19-10-7 record at the American Airlines Center. Winnipeg is 9-13-5 within the Central Division this season, while the Stars are also unimpressive at 8-10-5.

Winnipeg kicks off a five-game road trip on Monday, while the Stars head to Chicago the next night for another Central Division tilt.

 

You can watch the game on TSN Jets, or listen live on TSN 1290 radio. Non-regional viewers can see the game on Fox Sports-Southwest. Puck drop in Dallas is scheduled for 7:30 PM Central Time.

 

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Tags: Winnipeg Jets