Dallas Stars secure win over Jets, enter All-Star Break on a high note

DALLAS, TEXAS - JANUARY 19: Esa Lindell #23 of the Dallas Stars controls the puck against Patrik Laine #29 of the Winnipeg Jets in the second period at American Airlines Center on January 19, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TEXAS - JANUARY 19: Esa Lindell #23 of the Dallas Stars controls the puck against Patrik Laine #29 of the Winnipeg Jets in the second period at American Airlines Center on January 19, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Stars defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 at home on Saturday night, snapping a four-game losing streak in what was their final game before the NHL’s All-Star Break.

The past few weeks have been consistently inconsistent for the Dallas Stars.

The floodgates broke a few weeks ago when the team’s CEO, Jim Lites, went on an expletive-filled rant on Dallas’ two top players, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, for not living up to expectations after signing massive extensions in the past few offseasons.

The team responded by going 3-0-1 over their next four home games and safely secured third place in the Central Division.

After that, however, the Stars were tasked with their three road games in the month of January the following week, as they traveled to Winnipeg, St. Louis, and Philadelphia in five days before returning to the AAC.

Dallas went 1-2 on the road trip, losing 5-1 at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, beating the struggling St. Louis Blues 3-1 on the following Tuesday, and losing 2-1 to Gritty and the Flyers in Philly.

The Stars returned home to play four games before their bye week from Jan. 20-26, where they’d host two division opponents over the span of the week.

Dallas lost to St. Louis in their first game back from the road trip 3-1. They were shutout a few days later by the best team in the league, the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-0.

On Thursday, they hosted the Los Angeles Kings, the second to worst team in the league with a 19-26-4 record as of Sunday.

Kings’ goaltender Jack Campell, who was actually drafted 11th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (but was traded to LA in the deal that resulted in Ben Bishop coming to Dallas), made 29 saves on 30 shots to help Los Angeles defeat the Stars.

After a four-game losing streak, the Stars knew that they needed to break the skid as soon as possible, especially with a bye week looming.

And break the losing streak they did.

Brett Ritchie scored his third of the season on the Stars’ first power-play of the game by tipping a shot from defenseman John Klingberg.

Ritchie’s tally was the only score of the opening period and was his first point since Dec. 7.

The Stars were also physical in the game. Defenseman Connor Carrick dropped the gloves with Jets’ forward Brendan Lemieux towards the end of the first period. Stars’ Captain Jamie Benn also laid a huge hit on Mark Scheifele.

Here is what that looked like:

The score sheet was dominated by the Stars in the second period as well as the first. Blake Comeau scored his fifth of the season just 22 seconds into the middle frame by firing the puck through Connor Hellebuyck’s pads in front of the net to double Dallas’ lead to two goals.

In the back half of the second period, Radek Faksa went top shelf on Hellebuyck from inside the right face-off circle to give the Stars a demanding 3-0 lead.

The Jets were able to get on the board two times in a span of 21 seconds towards the start of the third period to cut the Stars’ advantage to one. Winnipeg’s first goal was off a drive to the net by Brendan Lemieux at 3:25 into the third, and teammate Kyle Connor scored his 19th goal of the season shortly afterward.

But on Saturday night, the Jets were no match for the Stars, as Tyler Seguin scored on a power-play with less than two minutes remaining in the contest to give Dallas an insurance goal.

Final. 2. 107. 4. 119

The Stars were able to topple the strongest team in the Western Conference and increased their record to 24-21-4.

What’s Next?

The Stars currently sit in the West’s first wild-card spot, just one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild.

The Stars will be on break for the next week and a half. They won’t play a game until Jan. 30, when they will host the Buffalo Sabres at the American Airlines Center.

Before then, however, Stars’ rookie phenom Miro Heiskanen will get a taste of the national hockey media carwash, his first since he was drafted back in the summer of 2017, as he will serve as the Stars’ representative at the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose, CA.

"“It feels great [to be selected to the All-Star game],” Heiskanen told Blackout Dallas Editor Josh Clark in early January. “When I was younger, I would look at those All-Star games and now I can go there, so it feels great.”"

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Heiskanen is second among Stars defenseman in points with 20 and leads defensemen in goals with nine. He also has the third highest average ice time per game on the team with 23:06.

Miro is 7th among rookies and second among defensive rookies in points with 20.

  • Published on 01/21/2019 at 12:00 PM
  • Last updated at 01/21/2019 at 10:08 AM