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Preview: Dallas Stars Head to Winnipeg Amid Andrew Ladd Buzz (7:00pm CST)

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It's a 7:00pm CST puck drop tonight on Fox Sporrrts Southwest.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars' latest slide hit three games Saturday night after receiving a blasting from the Boston Bruins. Lindy Ruff was unapologetic about his view of the proceedings-

"Our hockey is sloppy and you're not going to win sloppy games," he told media following the 7-3 defeat.

Combine that with a 6-3 loss in Phoenix on Thursday and you have every Stars fans biggest fear heading into the season. Team scoring three per game? Check. The defense? Err...

The Stars have allowed 13 goals in their last five periods of play and their pristine goal differential has taken a seven notch hit just like that. Worse, the Blackhawks sit a point ahead and enjoy a nice break with just three games in twelve days while Dallas deals with fatigue once more.

And the Blues sit a point behind.

For all the talk about the opposition being desperate and give Dallas their best run every night, the Stars themselves have quite a bit to strive for as their grip on a home playoff matchup slips through their gloved fingers.

Practice lines offered a potential change on the blue line, however minor, as Jyrki Jokipakka skated with Jordie Benn, signaling a possible game out for Patrik Nemeth who's seen some burn of late.

On the foward side it was a little more newsy as Patrick Eaves did not practice and was possibly going to stay home in Dallas while the team flew to Canada. With Travis Moen close to returning, but maybe not quite, is left Radek Faksa on a line in practice with a chance to get in the action this evening.

The Jets are fighting like hell and the Stars look like they could be the recipients of the team's last desperate gasp ahead of the trade deadline with this back to back set.

Great timing.

They're 11 points out of the second wild card spot in the West and sit barely above the Edmonton Oilers at 54 points with just March and a smidge of April remaining. Their time is coming, but they've something awfully emotional to play for against a divisional opponent they don't like tonight and Thursday- Their captain.

Canadian media in all its glee is calling it the "Andrew Ladd" sweepstakes. The 30-year old left winger has 16 goals and 17 assists on the year (three of those goals in his last two games, watch out) and is the subject of distracting media session after media session for Paul Maurice and his crew.

They'll be glad for the distraction tonight, though they're losers of four of their last five. They'll rear up and bite their betters, however, proving that with wins over St. Louis and Colorado a couple of weeks ago, and consecutive wins over Nashville and Minnesota a couple of weeks before that.

Winnipeg held the Stars to just absolutely nothing in an impressive defensive display at the AAC back in January in what turned out to be a 2-1 shootout win for the good guys. The Stars fought back with a better effort here in Winnipeg three weeks ago in a 5-3 Dallas decision.

The Jets scored a power play goal against Dallas once this month already and have scored three times on the job in their last two games. With the way the Bruins dissected the Stars Saturday night on the man-advantage staying out of the rock 'em sock 'em stuff with these guys should be the way to go.

Their real problem this season seems to be consistency in the offensive end of the rink. They'll drop four or five you from time to time but in between- Yuck. They've been held to a single goal 14 times in their last 26 games going back to December 21st.

Their lineup:

Ehlers-Perreault-Wheeler
Ladd-Scheifele-Armia
Stafford-Lowry-Burmistrov
Thorburn-Copp-Peluso

Enstron-Byfuglien
Trouba-Myers
Chiarot-Postma

Ondrej Pavelec
Michael Hutchinson

A modest proposal- Put a body on Perreaut. Bryan Little is questionable with an upper-body ailment.

From Stars PR:

GROWING UP IN A PRAIRIE TOWN

The Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets meet for the fourth of five games during the 2015-16 season on Tuesday night at MTS Centre in Winnipeg. Tuesday's game marks the first of two contests between the two Central Division clubs in a two-day span, with the second game occurring on Thursday night at American Airlines Center. Dallas has recorded a victory in all three games against Winnipeg this season (3-0-0) and have defeated the Jets in four of the last six games (4-2-0) played in Manitoba. In the most recent meeting of the season series, the Stars notched a 5-3 win on Feb. 2 at MTS Centre. Forward Tyler Seguin notched two goals (2-0=2) and defenseman John Klingberg registering a multi-point game (1-1=2) for Dallas. Goaltender Antti Niemi recorded the win for the Stars, stropping 21-of-24 shots faced on the evening.

ALES IN WONDERLAND

Stars forward Ales Hemsky registered a goal (1-0=1) against the Boston Bruins on Saturday night and now has goals in two consecutive games (2-0=2) and has recorded points in five of his last six contests (3-2=5). The forward has tallied 23 points (9-14=23) during the 2015-16 season, sharing eighth on the club in both goals (9) and assists (14). He currently ranks sixth on the club with 110 shots on goal. Since missing six games due to a lower body injury from Dec. 31 - Jan. 13, Hemsky has 10 points (6-4=10) in 16 games with 39 shots on goal since returning from injury on Jan. 15 at Anaheim. The native of Pardubice, Czech Republic has four points (1-3=4) over his last two games against the Jets, registering a season-high three points (1-2=3) earlier this season on Nov. 12 in the first game of the season series. Over the course of his NHL career, Hemsky has registered 22 points (4-18=22) in 16 career games against the Jets franchise.