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Jets Shackle Stars 5-1 in Winnipeg

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Jets beat Dallas Stars | IMage by USA Today Sports

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If it were not for first-period heroics from backup goaltender Scott Wedgewood, the Jets might have scored double-digit goals against the Stars in Winnipeg on Tuesday night.

Dallas’s three-game road trip came to a close on the night as the Stars faced their former coach Rick Bowness in the contest. Most of the Stars players were seemingly missing in action against their former manager as the Jets easily pushed themselves to a 5-1 victory.

The first period was full of Stars turnovers leading to Jets shots deflected and denied by Wedgewood in the net for Dallas (8-4-1, 17 points). He stopped 17 shots as the backup goalie continued his stellar play in starting goalie Jake Oettinger’s absence.

The 30-year-old, who wears a Hulk painting on the right side of his goalie mask, flexed while most of the Stars players sagged in the opening frame, getting outshot 17-to-8 in the first 20 minutes.

The shots allowed by the Stars are a season-high by Dallas in the first period of a game. Still, between Wedgwood’s net minding and Dallas’ defense, Winnipeg’s aggressive scoring attack was kept at bay during the Star’s litany of follies.

“I thought we had a really poor first period,” Star’s manager Peter DeBoer told NHL.com after the loss.

Aside from a 90-second long knuckle-chucking scrum between Stars center Ty Dellandrea and Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon, the first period ended knotted at zeros. Both landed their fair share of punches in the brawl, though Dillion is three inches taller and 25 pounds heavier.

Dellandrea drew a round of approval from the Stars bench as the players showed appreciation by banging their sticks on the boards in front of them, applauding their teammate’s effort.

If Wedgwood was the Hulk in the first period, he turned back to Banner in the second.

Jason Robertson extended his goal-scoring streak to six games when he opened the second period with his ninth goal of the year to give Dallas their first and last lead of the night, 1-0.

That was it for Dallas on the night.

A total of 70 seconds later, the Jets turned the early deficit into a lead and pounded Dallas with four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 lead into the second intermission.

“I thought we kind of regrouped at the beginning of the second,” DeBoer said. “(Dallas) scored the first goal, started to play, and then you know, just some poor decisions and some poor execution for five or six minutes, and we lost all of our momentum. The game was essentially over at that point.”

Dallas was outplayed in the first period but outplayed and also outexecuted heading into the second.

“We’re not sitting back on our heels; we’re playing on our toes; we’re making it hard on teams to make plays and make continuous passes,” Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele told NHL.com. “That comes with playing fast and having good sticks and trusting your teammates. I think we’ve done a really good job with that.”

Winnipeg (8-3-1, 17 points) moves into a first-place tie with Dallas atop the Western Central following the win.

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