NHL: Central-leading Stars take their third crack at Jets
Coming off a stunning comeback victory, the Dallas Stars will look for another win over a Central Division opponent when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.
The Stars trailed the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 through 50 minutes of play on Wednesday, yet emerged with a 6-4 win after scoring five unanswered goals. After Max Domi scored for Chicago 9:37 into the third period, the Stars quickly responded on Jamie Benn’s power-play marker just 38 seconds later.
Then, “we just got rolling,” said forward Ty Dellandrea, who tipped in the equalizer for the Stars at 14:12 of the third period.
“We got the building going and we fed off of that … (Benn’s goal) kind of erupted the place. And then we just took that and every line was going. Every line contributed. Great comeback.”
Twelve of the Stars’ 18 skaters recorded at least one point, but Jason Robertson was again a key factor with two goals.
The forward extended his points streak to 13 games on Wednesday, earning himself a spot in the team’s record books. Robertson tied Dave Gagner for the longest points streak in Dallas Stars history (when the franchise moved from Minnesota for the 1993-94 season).
As a team, the Central-leading Stars are on a six-game points streak of their own (4-0-2).
While Dallas has the momentum of its best win of the season, the Jets hope to recover from their worst loss. Winnipeg’s 6-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday marked the most goals allowed by the Jets in any game this season, as well as their largest margin of defeat.
Defenseman Nate Schmidt felt his team “only played 10 good minutes,” referring to a stretch in the second period that saw Kyle Connor score Winnipeg’s lone goal.
“(We) have to understand what the league can do to you if you come in and you’re not ready,” Schmidt said. “When you don’t play good for 50 minutes it doesn’t give you a good chance to win. You have to make sure you learn from it.”
The Jets conceded a season-high five power-play chances. Minnesota was 2-for-5 on the power play, matching the number of total power-play goals (2-for-29) scored by Jets opponents over Winnipeg’s previous 12 games.
Beyond this lack of help from his penalty killers, Connor Hellebuyck also faced a few bad bounces in allowing six goals on 39 shots. Hellebuyck will try to rebound Friday as the Jets’ probable starter in net.
Because the Stars also play the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, goalies Jake Oettinger and Scott Wedgewood will likely split the back-to-back starts. Wedgewood hasn’t played since Nov. 17, when a back injury forced him to be stretchered off the ice during a 6-4 win over the Florida Panthers.
This is the third of three meetings between the Jets and Stars this regular season. The Stars won 4-1 in Dallas on Oct. 17, while the Jets won 5-1 in Winnipeg on Nov. 8.
Jets coach Rick Bowness missed the Oct. 17 game due to COVID-19, so Friday will mark Bowness’ official return to Dallas. Bowness coached the Stars for parts of the last three seasons, highlighted by a trip to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.
–Field Level Media