The Dallas Stars seemed to have a capable offense when they were
one of the NHL’s hottest road teams not long ago.
Now they’re struggling to score as they continue a key trip
against Central Division opponents.
The Stars hope to turn things around Saturday against a Winnipeg
Jets team that’s giving up goals at a high rate during its worst
home losing streak in five years.
Since scoring 21 times during a six-game road win streak last
month, Dallas (14-11-5) has totaled eight goals while dropping
three of four away from home.
The Stars, in a three-way tie for last place with 33 points,
fell to 2-6-0 in the Central after opening a three-game swing
against division clubs with a 3-1 loss at Nashville on
”These are big ones,” defenseman Alex Goligoski said. ”We
have two more big ones on this road trip to turn it around. Not the
way we wanted to start it, but that’s the beauty of hockey. You
have to prove it every day.”
Dallas outshot the Predators 34-30, but Erik Cole provided the
only goal in the first period. Despite the team’s slump on the
road, Cole has scored in three straight and four of the last five
away from home.
Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn teamed for three goals and four
assists in a 4-1 victory in the last meeting in Winnipeg on Oct.
11. Dallas’ top two scorers, however, haven’t produced a goal in
their last nine combined road games.
The Jets (14-14-5), who also have 33 points, may be able to
tighten things up defensively after allowing 17 goals over a
five-game home skid – their worst since moving to Winnipeg in
The franchise hasn’t had a longer one since dropping seven
straight in Atlanta from Nov. 20-Dec. 18, 2008.
Winnipeg held a 38-26 advantage in shots, but Ondrej Pavelec
surrendered three goals in a 4-3 shootout loss to visiting Colorado
on Thursday. Pavelec is 0-2-2 with a 2.90 goals-against average in
his last four home starts.
After giving up four goals in the first meeting this season,
Pavelec bounced back with 35 saves in a 2-1 shootout win in Dallas
on Oct. 26.
Blake Wheeler had the only goal in the home loss to the Stars,
and he’s hoping to build on his first multi-goal effort of the
season. He scored twice Thursday, including a power-play goal in
the third period that sent the game into overtime.
”Our division, our conference, isn’t easy,” said Wheeler,
second on the Jets with nine goals. ”There aren’t any easy
Though it has scuffled at home, Winnipeg has gone 8 for 23 (34.8
percent) on the power play in the last six games there. That
doesn’t bode well for a Dallas team that has given up a power-play
goal in six consecutive road games.
Kari Lehtonen, who played for Atlanta from 2003-09, could get a
chance to face the Jets for the third time this season after
stopping 58 of 59 shots while going 1-0-1 in the October
The Stars are 12-2-2 all-time against the Atlanta/Winnipeg