Winnipeg Jets fall behind early, can’t recover in 4-1 loss in Dallas

The Winnipeg Jets have been dominant in games against Central Division opponents this season, with one notable exception.

The Jets are now 0-3 against the Dallas Stars after a 4-1 loss in Texas Thursday night, compared to 16-1-1 against the rest of the division.

The Stars threatened early when Mason Marchment was sprung on a breakaway in the third minute of the game but Connor Hellebuyck turned him aside.

Dallas would get on the board a few minutes later after Cole Perfetti turned the puck over in his own end. An errant pass off the boards landed on the stick of Joe Pavelski, who sent the puck down low to Jason Robertson. He walked in and beat Hellebuyck from close range for his 20th of the season.

It stayed 1-0 until the 16:41 mark when Pavelski tipped a point shot over the shoulder of Hellebuyck, but the Stars weren’t done there.

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With just under two minutes to go, Logan Stankoven took the puck away from Mason Appleton in the neutral zone. After carrying the puck into the Winnipeg end, a scramble ensued in front of the net and eventually it was Stankoven who knocked it home for his third goal in just his fourth career game.

It stayed 3-0 deep into the second period before the red-hot power play of the Jets got to work, and on their first try of the game, it was actually the second unit who managed to get the job done.

Nikolaj Ehlers’ shot deflected off a Dallas defender and skittered to the side of the net where Vladislav Namestnikov was waiting to bang it home for his first goal in 13 games, making it 3-1 through 40 minutes.

Dallas had several good chances to add to their lead on a 5-on-3 in the third period but Hellebuyck stood tall, keeping his team in the game but they couldn’t get any closer before Roope Hintz sealed the game with an empty netter with 70 seconds left.

Hellebuyck stopped 32 shots in defeat while Jake Oettinger made 25 saves for the victory.

Jets forward Gabe Vilardi didn’t play for much of the third period due to an upper-body injury, according to coach Rick Bowness, and his status for the Jets next game is in question.

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Winnipeg will be back in action Saturday morning in Carolina, with the puck dropping just after 11:30 a.m.

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