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Wyatt Johnston's goal and assist lift Stars over Jets 3-2

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Wyatt Johnston had a goal and an assist as the Dallas Stars defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Saturday.

Thomas Harley and Matt Duchene also scored for the Stars (9-3-1).

“I thought it may be our best road game of the year,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. “I liked how we started. I liked the entire 60 minutes. I thought we were tight, we were smart with the puck, we were competitive, built a lead. That’s how you want to play on the road.”

Scott Wedgewood, who made 31 saves in net for Dallas, held the fort late in the third period with the Jets pressing for the equalizer with their goalie pulled.

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“Obviously, a tough building to come into,” Wedgewood said. “I think we played probably our best 60 the way our first period was. Unfortunately, they get a floater in the third to make things a little more tighter than I would have liked. But it was a character ending for us. A couple of big blocks by the guys and I was fortunate to make a save there short-handed and keep them behind one and it’s a big win on the road here.”

Cole Perfetti and Brenden Dillon replied for Winnipeg (7-5-2), as goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped 26 shots.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Jets.

“Credit to Dallas,” Perfetti said. “We knew they’re a veteran team. They’re not going to give you much. I think the first two periods, we were just trying to kind of go outside of what’s made us successful for the last couple games. We have scored some highlight-reel goals, but they take away the middle, they try to force turnovers.

“In the third period we were more direct, using our strength which is our speed, getting in on the forecheck and turning it over. And then getting that next play. When we try to get too cute sometimes against these good veteran teams, they’ll take advantage of it.”

The Jets pulled to within a goal midway through the third period on Dillon’s goal, but failed to crack Wedgewood again.

“Wedge was awesome today and we definitely wanted to stay on the gas and keep getting pressure on, and not having it come to our goalie making some big saves,” Johnston said. “But we know on 6-on-5 and if they’re putting pressure on us, our goalies are going to be able to step up and make a play.”

It was the second of a five-game homestand for Winnipeg.

“They’re another veteran team. A big veteran team,” said Jets coach Scott Arniel. “They’re not going to give you a lot of room to play a wide-open skilled game. They’re going to make you earn every inch of your ice and we saw a lot of that.”

UP NEXT

Stars: Visit Minnesota on Sunday.

Jets: Host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

___

AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL