Stars 6, Jets 4

Geoff Kirbyson, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


WINNIPEG -- Did somebody order up a mid-1980s game between the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota North Stars?
What was supposed to be tight-checking Western division affair turned positively wild in the second period when five goals were scored in only 351 seconds.
The Dallas Stars, who which moved south from Minneapolis in 1993, scored three of those goals en route to a 6-4 victory over the Jets, who lost their sixth consecutive game at home.
Dallas broke the game open with the help of two power play goals during that torrid stretch.
The Stars opened the scoring at 7:14 of the first period when defenseman Sergei Gonchar hit center Tyler Sequin with a breakaway pass and he slipped his 16th of the season past goalie Ondrej Pavelec.
The home side evened the score less than three minutes later when Jets' right winger Matt Halischuk deposited the rebound of his center, Mark Scheifele, behind Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen after some sustained pressure from the home team.
The Stars took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission after rookie right winger Valeri Nichushkin turned Pavelec into a pretzel at 14:24 with some nifty stick-handling following a neutral zone turnover by Jets right winger Michael Frolik.
The Jets tied the game at 12:58 of the second period when the suddenly-streaking Blake Wheeler scored his 10th of the season and fifth in six games, following a 14-game goalless drought for the right winger.
Stars captain Jamie Benn put the visitors in front for the third time when the left winger wristed his eighth goal of the season past Pavelec at 13:46 of the frame.
Wheeler evened things at 3-3 when the puck deflected to him in the slot, only seconds after he got out of the penalty box at 14:53. He wristed his 11th of the season behind Lehtonen.
Then it was time for some old-school animosity.
Jets right winger Anthony Peluso was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct after smoking Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski into the boards at 15:28.
The penalty proved costly as the Stars' power play, ranked last in the league coming into the game at 10.5 percent, scored twice on the man advantage.
Benn scored his second of the game at 17:46 and Seguin did likewise at 18:49. Gonchar assisted on all three goals in the period, giving him four helpers in the game.
Jets coach Claude Noel replaced Pavelec with Al Montoya to start the third period but the onslaught continued when Stars center Colton Sceviour scored his first goal of the season at 2:48 of the frame.
From there, the only suspense was whether Wheeler would be the first Jet to post a hat-trick since the franchise relocated from Atlanta in May, 2011.
Wheeler didn't, although he came close in the last minute of play.
Jets center Olli Jokinen scored his eighth goal of the season in garbage time.
The victory improved the Stars' record to 15-11-5, while the Jets fell to 14-15-5.
NOTES: The MTS Centre, considered a difficult to play for opposing players during the Jets' first two seasons, has seemingly lost that status. The Jets have lost five in a row at home. ... The Stars are last in the league with the man advantage at 10.5 per cent and 21st a man down at 80 percent. The Jets are 28th on the power play and 10th on the penalty kill at 83.6 per cent. ... The season series was tied 1-1, with the Stars beating the Jets, 4-1, at MTS Centre on Oct. 11 and the Jets earning a 2-1 shootout victory at the American Airlines Centre less than three weeks later. ... It was the second game of relocated teams in less than 48 hours at the MTS Centre. On Thursday it was the former Atlanta Thrashers against the old Quebec Nordiques and this time the old Thrashers played the former Minnesota North Stars. ... Spotted in the crowd was an old Neal Broten No. 7 North Stars jersey. ... Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was originally drafted by the Thrashers second overall in 2002. He played 204 games for the franchise, winning 94. ... The Jets are going to host either the Winter Classic or the Heritage Classic outdoor game in 2016. It's expected the team will wear a throwback World Hockey Association-inspired jersey. ... After a 14-game drought without a goal, Jets RW Blake Wheeler has scored four goals in the last five games.