Jets-Stars Preview

The Associated Press

After returning to lead the Dallas Stars on their home ice, Kari Lehtonen has an opportunity to help them extend their winning streak there.

The Winnipeg Jets have had a difficult time picking up wins regardless of the venue.

With its No. 1 goalie back between the pipes, Dallas looks to pick up a fourth straight home win Saturday night when it takes on the slumping Jets.

The Stars (4-5-0) were outscored 11-5 in dropping games at Los Angeles and Anaheim last weekend before regrouping back home with a 5-1 victory over Calgary on Thursday.

Dallas has allowed 19 goals during a four-game road losing streak, but it's given up five over this three-game run at home. In his first appearance after missing the previous five games, Lehtonen keyed Thursday's victory by turning away 28 of 29 shots.

Lehtonen stopped all 21 shots he faced before suffering a leg injury in a 4-1 win at Winnipeg on Oct. 11. Dallas lost four of five while he was out.

"I was a little rusty, but the guys kept it pretty simple," Lehtonen said. "They didn't get many crazy chances. They were simple shots and that was good for me to get back into playing."

The veteran has a 0.78 goals-against average and .974 save percentage while winning his last three starts, and he'll be looking to lead Dallas to its longest home streak since taking its first four games there in 2011-12.

The Jets (4-5-2) have averaged 1.89 goals while losing seven of nine. The Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise hasn't fared well in matchups with former Thrasher Lehtonen, scoring once on 51 shots in two losses.

Though they've averaged 40.7 shots during a three-game losing streak, the Jets have totaled seven goals. They fell 5-4 in a shootout to Washington on Tuesday before Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss at Nashville.

Ondrej Pavelec, who has started 10 of 11 games, has a 3.06 GAA after making 30 saves against the Predators. He's 2-2-0 with a 4.44 GAA lifetime against the Stars, giving up four goals on 31 shots while taking the loss Oct. 11.

"The biggest task for our team is to be consistent through the whole 60 minutes," said coach Claude Noel, whose Jets continue a four-game road trip against Central Division opponents.

Blake Wheeler has tried to provide a spark with a goal in each of the last two games. The right wing has a goal and six points in five career matchups against the Stars.

Evander Kane and Bryan Little lead the Jets with five goals apiece, but they've totaled one in a combined five meetings with Dallas.

The Stars' Jamie Benn and Alex Chiasson, who had two goals apiece Thursday, teamed for two scores and three assists in the most recent meeting with Winnipeg.

Teammate Tyler Seguin led the way with two goals and two assists in that contest as part of a six-game point streak, though he hasn't produced a point in the last two.

The Stars have won 12 of 15 all-time meetings with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, including six of seven in Dallas.

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