Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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Two power-play goals push Stars past Jets

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[March 25, 2014]  DALLAS  When the Dallas Stars needed their power play to deliver, it did just that.

The Stars scored twice with the man advantage to hand the Winnipeg Jets a 2-1 defeat Monday at American Airlines Center.

Dallas went 2-for-4 with on the power play, receiving goals from left winger Ray Whitney in the first period and from center Tyler Seguin late in the second. The Stars were 1-for-15 on the power play over their previous five games.

"Over the last 25 games, we're 19 percent," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said of his power play. "We're generating quality opportunities."

Heading into Monday, Winnipeg had the NHL's top-rated road penalty kill, killing off 88.2 percent of opposing power plays.

Winnipeg scored its lone goal, also on a power play, with 2:44 remaining in regulation when center Bryan Little knocked in a rebound.

"I thought in the third we kind of sat back a little bit and played prevent D," Whitney said. "When the situation tightens these last 11 games, you're going to see more of that."

Dallas (34-26-11) earned its second win in a row. With the Phoenix Coyotes losing 4-3 in overtime at the New York Rangers, the Stars are now one point behind the Coyotes for the final wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Center Jamie Benn, the team captain, assisted on both Dallas goals. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 32 shots.

Whitney gave Dallas its first lead when he scored 5:32 into the game with a slap shot that beat Jets goalie Al Montoya. Just seven seconds earlier, Whitney whistled a wrister off the right post.

However, after a cross-ice pass from Benn, Whitney converted, sending the pick off Montoya's left shoulder and into the far side of the net.

Winnipeg, which lost its second in a row, had too many men on the ice 4:17 into the game to put Dallas on the power play.

"Yeah, we've had three (too-many-men penalties)," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "I won't do the details and just say that's on me. Everything that happens on that bench is my responsibility, so just leave it at that. It's on me."

Seguin doubled the Stars' lead at 16:09 of the second period when he flicked in a rebound for his 32nd of the season. Four seconds earlier, Seguin's wrister from the left circle careened off the far post. After Montoya denied Stars rookie right wing Alex Chiasson's backhand at close range, Seguin alertly flipped the rebound into the top of the net to give Dallas breathing room.

Winnipeg put Dallas on the power play at 15:56 of the second after winger Dustin Byfuglien hooked Stars center Cody Eakin.

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The Jets nearly pulled back within a goal during their first power play of the game later in the second. Left winger Evander Kane saw his wrister from the high slot ring off the crossbar with 1:37 remaining before the second intermission.

Winnipeg (32-32-9) went on the power play after Stars rookie center Colton Sceviour was called for tripping at 17:07 of the second.

With 4:29 remaining in regulation, Winnipeg right wing Blake Wheeler went hard into the boards in front of the Dallas bench. Wheeler was nudged into the boards by Sceviour, and he struck the gate, which was open on the end of the Stars bench. He had to be helped back to the locker room but later returned to the bench.

Montoya, who left the ice with 3:05 remaining but returned after the Little goal, stopped 25 of 27 shots for the Jets, who were starting a five-game road trip. Montoya departed a second time with 1:39 remaining and returned briefly with 10.9 seconds left before again leaving the ice.

Winnipeg returns to the ice Thursday to play the Sharks in San Jose. Dallas plays the Blackhawks in Chicago on Tuesday.

NOTES: Jets D Zach Bogosian (upper body), RW Matt Halischuk, LW Carl Klingberg, LW Andrew Ladd, G Ondrej Pavelec (lower body), C Mark Scheifele (MCL sprain) and RW Chris Thorburn (broken foot) were scratched. Ladd's absence was because his wife gave birth to a daughter Sunday night. ... Stars LW Erik Cole (upper body), D Kevin Connauton and C Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat) were scratched. ... Jets D Adam Pardy played 36 games for Dallas in the 2011-12 season. ... Stars G Kari Lehtonen started his third straight game. ... Jets G Al Montoya started his sixth consecutive game. ... The goal by Stars LW Ray Whitney in the first period was his first in 13 games. ... Klingberg and Jets C Patrice Cormier were recalled from AHL St. John's on Monday morning. ... The announced attendance was 15,967.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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