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Stars Start Crucial Road Trip with Last Game Against Jets

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Dallas can finish the season series 3-1 with a win tonight.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After going 1-3-1 on their recent homestand, the Dallas Stars have dug themselves into a tight spot. Thanks to losses by the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes yesterday, the Stars still sit in the first Wild Card spot with a game in hand, but the margin for error is razor thin right now.

Desperate for a win, the Stars kick off a four-game road trip through Canada tonight when they take on the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets clinched a playoff spot this past weekend, but are still fighting with the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues for first in the division. In other words, the Stars aren’t getting a freebie — they’ll need to go all out if they want to secure the win.

The Stars are 2-1 against the Jets this season, and tonight marks the final game between the two clubs. Or at least, the final game in the regular season — since the Jets are favored to win the West and the Stars are projected to be the first Wild Card, there’s a good chance these teams might see each other again in the Stanley Cup playoffs:

Unfortunately for Dallas, while they have been struggling lately, the Jets have been flying high. Winnipeg have won five of their last six games, including a solid 5-0 win over the Nashville Predators. Of course, that did come right after a 5-0 loss against the Vegas Golden Knights, which in turn came after a 3-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks. So if you’re looking for good news, then recent patterns suggest that Dallas should have a shutout win tonight.

Some other good news: Mats Zuccarello and and Tyler Pitlick will be joining the team on the road and practicing. They won’t be on the ice tonight, but we might get to see them in action again by the end of the week. And boy, what I’d give to get Zuccarello back sooner versus later:

Sigh, oh well. Guess we can wait a few more days...

Dallas Stars Lineup

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Jason Dickinson
Mattias Janmark - Roope Hintz - Alexander Radulov
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Valeri Nichushkin - Justin Dowling - Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Taylor Fedun - Ben Lovejoy

Ben Bishop

Winnipeg Jets Lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler
Kyle Connor - Kevin Hayes - Patrik Laine
Bryan Little - Adam Lowry - Brandon Tanev
Mathieu Perreault - Andrew Copp - Matt Hendricks

Nathan Beaulieu - Jacob Trouba
Ben Chiarot - Sami Niku
Dmitry Kulikov - Tyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck