Jets-Stars Preview

The Dallas Stars feature the NHL's highest-scoring duo in Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.

The Winnipeg Jets also have a lethal combination in Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little.

Plenty of firepower will be on display Thursday night in Dallas when these Central Division rivals open their five-game season series.

Seguin and Benn have combined for the most goals (19) and points (44) by a set of two teammates this season. They did not have a point for the second time in Tuesday's 3-2 home loss to Toronto.

The only other time that happened was in a 4-1 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 22. Seguin and Benn responded by combining for 24 points in the next eight games, including 13 by Seguin who had at least one in every game of that run.

Wheeler and Little have totaled 35 points to rank third among NHL teammates. They had five and had a hand in all of the goals in Tuesday's 5-3 loss to Minnesota that started this four-game trip.

Winnipeg (8-6-2) took three of four from Dallas last season, with Wheeler and Little combining for five points. Seguin and Benn totaled one goal and six assists in those games.

The Jets will face another high-scoring team after struggling against a Wild club that's second in the Western Conference with 3.1 goals per game. Ondrej Pavelec was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 12 shots, with Michael Hutchinson replacing him.

Winnipeg outscored Minnesota 2-0 in the third period on goals by Little and Wheeler but it was too late.

''I don't know why it took us to be down 5-1 to turn it on like that,'' Little said.

Now the Jets must try to slow down a Stars team averaging a West-leading 3.5 goals that also ranks among the NHL's best with 31.3 shots per game.

Dallas (12-4-0) outshot the Maple Leafs 38-30 on Tuesday but failed to score at least three goals for just the fourth time. The Stars had a three-game win streak snapped.

"We missed too many good opportunities," coach Lindy Ruff said. "We had 2-on-1s, 3-on-1s, our power play had an empty net to put it in. On the rush, we probably had five or six point-blank ones that you don't score."

Another concern for Ruff is that opponents are 9 for 25 on the power play in the last eight contests, an anemic 64.0 percent penalty-kill rate.

"Obviously we gotta get better, we can't give up a (power-play) goal a game and expect to win," Ruff said.

The Stars are playing their second game against a division opponent after losing 6-3 at last-place Colorado on Oct. 10. The Jets are 2-2-0 against Central opponents, with this road trip consisting exclusively of them.

"It's early in the season but these are big points against teams in our division and we gotta find a way to come out like we ended it," Little said.

The Stars' John Klingberg has 13 assists and 15 points to lead Western Conference defensemen.

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