(SportsNetwork.com) – Mathieu Perreault and the Winnipeg Jets will try to
build off a stellar offensive showing when they visit the Dallas Stars for
Thursday’s clash at AmericanAirlines Center.
The Jets slammed the visiting Florida Panthers by an 8-2 score on Tuesday with
Perreault scoring four goals to tie a franchise record.
Perreault’s first two goals gave the Jets a 2-0 lead in the first period, and
his next two were scored barely a minute apart late in the second period. His
second career hat trick gives Perreault 15 goals on the season, one less than
Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little for tops on the team.
“The bounces were going my way,” said Perreault. “It was one of those night
and obviously a lot of fun.”
Perreault tied the club record for goals in a game, matching Ilya Kovalchuk,
who scored four times back on Nov. 11, 2005 when the franchise was still known
as the Atlanta Thrashers.
Winnipeg got a pair of goals and an assist from Dustin Byfuglien. Jay Harrison
and Evander Kane also lit the lamp for the Jets, while Michael Hutchinson made
25 saves to help his club win for the second time in three games.
Ladd notched an assist and now has four goals and five assists during a seven-
game point streak. Jets head coach Paul Maurice also won his 500th NHL game
thanks to the rout.
The eight goals beat Winnipeg’s previous season high of six and the margin of
victory also was the largest of 2014-15 for the Jets.
Winnipeg is playing two straight and four of its next six on the road, where
it is 12-5-5 this season. The Jets wrap a two-game swing tomorrow night in
Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec are expected to split starts over the next two
days. The former player’s only career appearance against the Stars came in a
5-2 win at Dallas on Dec. 9, as Hutchinson stopped 26-of-28 shots for the win.
Pavelec is 3-3-0 with a 4.12 goals against average in his career versus the
Winnipeg’s December victory in Big D was the club’s second in its last three
trips to Dallas. The Jets have claimed four of seven overall in this matchup.
Tonight’s battle has playoff implications out West, where the Jets are
currently holding onto the first of two wild card spots. The Stars are four
points out of a postseason berth and sit seven points in back of Winnipeg.
The Stars are hoping to pick up another win tonight after halting an 0-2-2
slide with Tuesday’s 5-4 regulation win over Ottawa. Dallas trailed 3-1 after
the first period, but took control of the game with four goals in the second.
John Klingberg scored twice during the second-period outburst, while Erik Cole
and Ales Hemsky each tallied a goal and an assist in the win.
“I thought it was a really hard battle to stay in there and come back with
that second period,” Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said. “Everybody dug in and
found a way to win.”
Trevor Daley also lit the lamp for the Stars, who are 9-3-2 over the last 14
games. Anders Lindback stopped 34-of-36 shots after Kari Lehtonen gave up two
goals on five shots early in the game.
Lehtonen owns excellent career numbers against his former franchise and could
start tonight. The former Thrashers netminder is 4-1-1 with a 1.95 goals
against average in six career games versus Atlanta/Winnipeg.
Vernon Fiddler is questionable for tonight after missing Tuesday with a lower-
body injury. The Stars forward has four goals and nine assists in 41 games
Dallas is 10-8-5 at home this season and will complete a three-game homestand
when it hosts Washington on Saturday.