Preview: Jets at Blues
The St. Louis Blues sit atop the Western Conference standings despite going 1-4-0 on their recent five-game road trip, and look to avoid a repeat of Saturday’s loss at Winnipeg when they host the Jets on Thursday. The Blues returned home Tuesday and powered past Carolina 6-3, scoring two power-play goals for the first time in 11 games and recording their highest goal total since scoring six on Oct. 10 at Ottawa, the fourth game of the season.
Center Brayden Schenn and forward Zach Sanford each scored a pair of goals, and center Ryan O’Reilly added three assists for St. Louis, which improved to 10-0-1 in its past 11 home games. “We played pretty solid from start to finish,” Schenn told the media after scoring for the second straight game after a 14-game goal drought. The Jets have played better since the All-Star break, but a lapse by goaltender Connor Hellebuyck late in the first period resulted in a Nashville goal Tuesday, and Winnipeg would go on to lose 2-1 in overtime. “We probably didn’t have as much net front traffic as we could have,” Winnipeg center Blake Wheeler told reporters after the loss, which dropped the Jets to 2-7-1 in their past 10 games.
TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: FS Midwest, TSN3
ABOUT THE JETS (26-23-5): Forward Mason Appleton scored for the second time in four games Tuesday, and defenseman Sami Niku boasts three assists in his past two games. Forward Patrik Laine has scored a goal in four of his past six games and had a penalty shot stopped Tuesday. Hellebuyck stopped 34-of-36 shots, but his attempt to clear the puck was picked off by Nashville and moments later he allowed the game-tying goal at 17:39 of the first period.
ABOUT THE BLUES (32-14-8): O’Reilly has scored twice with six assists across his past seven games, with two multi-point performances in that span. Sanford extended his point streak to six games (four goals, five assists) and registered the first multi-goal game of his career Tuesday. Goaltender Jordan Binnington gave up two goals in the final eight minutes after the Blues had built a 6-1 lead, finishing with 25 saves to improve to 5-2-1 in his past eight games.
1. Winnipeg recalled F Andrei Chibisov from Manitoba of the AHL on Wednesday and sent down D Cameron Schilling.
2. Blues F Sammy Blais, in his fourth game since returning from wrist surgery Tuesday, scored his first goal since Nov. 2.
3. Jets F Jack Roslovic scored two goals with an assist and Hellebuyck made 38 saves in Winnipeg’s 5-2 victory over the Blues on Saturday, as Schenn and O’Reilly scored for St. Louis.
PREDICTION: Blues 5, Jets 2