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Game #07 Preview and GDT: Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg’s loss in the first leg wasn’t a complete write-off

Winnipeg Jets v Dallas Stars
More tumbling from the Dallas Stars, please.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets may have dropped to 2-4-0 with Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars, but they arguably played their best game of the season while doing so. Tonight they'll have chance to avenge their defeat while hopefully continuing the same level of improved play.

With Drew Stafford injured and possibly out until next week, Kyle Connor appears set to step into the top-six. Before folks scream bloody murder over Joel Armia's top-six promotion or lack thereof, keeping the third-line trio together isn't completely incomprehensible. We may fantasize over what Nikolaj Ehlers and Mathieu Perreault would do with Armia's feeds as opposed to Shawn Matthias and Adam Lowry, but the line as a whole had a successful night on Tuesday. Should they continue to tilt the ice in the right direction, having MLA together may help provide balance to a lineup sorely needing it. The potential of Perreault and Ehlers kickstarting Connor's game is an added bonus.

The goalie rotation continues for Winnipeg, as Connor Hellebuyck seems due to appear between the pipes. While Michael Hutchinson was okay on Tuesday, he wasn't so show-stopping as to force head coach Paul Maurice's hand, not to mention a certain Tyler Seguin snipe.

As for Dallas, the injury-inspired lines continue to be a thing, though in the exact same alignment as they were on Tuesday. Perhaps of greatest note are the d-corps going untouched and a second straight appearance by Antti Niemi.

Esa Lindell and Jordie Benn remain in the lineup despite being buried at 5v5 (though in fairness, only the top-pairing of John Klingberg and Patrik Nemeth fared decently in this respect). With Stephen Johns and Jamie Oleksiak waiting in the press box, those in the lineup not named Klingberg, Johnny Oduya or Dan Hamhuis need to keep doing whatever makes Stars head coach Lindy Ruff happy.

Niemi posted a strong game against the Jets a couple nights ago, stopping 28 of 30 shots for a .933 Sv%. Similar to Winnipeg, there is no definitive starter in Dallas; the net belongs to whoever can take the ball and run with it for a game or three. If Niemi struggles tonight, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see fellow Finn Kari Lehtonen in the net on Saturday vs. Minnesota.

When, Where & How

Thursday, Oct. 27, 7:00 p.m. CT, MTS Centre
Radio: TSN 1290, Sportsradio 1310 AM, 96.7 FM The Ticket

Winnipeg Jets Projected Lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Patrik Laine Mark Scheifele Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers Mathieu Perreault Kyle Connor
Shawn Matthias Adam Lowry Joel Armia
Brandon Tanev Alexander Burmistrov Chris Thorburn
Left Defence
Right Defence
Josh Morrissey Dustin Byfuglien
Tobias Enstrom Tyler Myers
Mark Stuart Ben Chiarot
Connor Hellebuyck
Michael Hutchinson

Dallas Stars Projected Lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Antoine Roussel
Tyler Seguin Lauri Korpikoski
Jamie Benn Radek Faksa Patrick Eaves
Curtis McKenzie Devin Shore Brett Ritchie
Gemel Smith Justin Dowling Adam Cracknell
Left Defence
Right Defence
Patrik Nemeth John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis Esa Lindell
Johnny Oduya Jordie Benn
Antti Niemi
Kari Lehtonen