Game Report: Jets 5, Blues 3

By Nicholas Hand

A change in goal was unable to produce a different result as the Blues lost a season-high third consecutive game in regulation on Saturday in Winnipeg.

Pheonix Copley, recalled from the minor leagues on Friday because of the struggles of Jake Allen and Carter Hutton, took the loss in his first start in the NHL.

A lackluster first period punished the Blues with an early deficit on a power play goal by Bryan Little at 7:47.

The Blues were faced with killing a five-on-three man advantage after hooking minors by Jaden Schwartz and David Perron.

Little deflected a Dustin Byfuglien shot from the point during the five-on-four portion of the power play for a 1-0 lead.

Despite poor play, the Blues were able to even the score at 13:18 of the first period on Kevin Shattenkirk’s 10th of the season on the power play.

The goal was the result of a terrific passing sequence involving Tarasenko and Paul Stastny. Stastny had the puck in front of the net and sent a pass across the crease to an open Shattenkirk who buried the puck into an open net past Ondrej Pavelec.

The second period opened with a defensive breakdown that put the Blues down again.

A Shattenkirk turnover inside the defensive zone blueline proved costly as Blake Wheeler buried his 15th of the season. Byfuglien and Mathieu Perreault assisted on the goal at 1:27 to give the Jets a 2-1 lead.

Facing a 2-1 deficit, the Blues found their game in the second period firing 25 shots at Pavelec but were unable to find the equalizer in the middle frame. The 25 shots were just two shy of the franchise record for most shots on goal in one period.

Tarasenko also hit two goal posts in the period on prime scoring chances. The save of the period belonged to Copley who robbed Perreault on an odd-man rush to keep the Blues within one.

Another offensive zone penalty killed the momentum generated from the second period with a Dmitrij Jaskin high-sticking minor at 1:52 of the third.

Little scored just 18 seconds later to give the Jets a commanding 3-1 lead with 17:50 remaining in regulation.

Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers added goals later in the period to increase the lead to 5-1. Stastny and Shattenkirk scored late goals for the 5-3 final.

The five Winnipeg goals came on 29 shots on goal. The Blues have the worst save percentage of any team in the NHL. The Blues finished the game with 37 shots on goal.

Of Note:
Allen did not travel with the Blues to Winnipeg in an effort to reset the struggling goaltender. Allen is expected to travel with the Blues as the road trip continues this week. Jay Bouwmeester was a late scratch due to a lower-body injury. Bouwmeester did take the pre-game skate before being scratched. Nail Yakupov was the other healthy scratch for the Blues. The Nashville Predators have caught the Blues for third place in the Central Division with 51 points and now have a game in hand.

Looking Ahead:
The Blues continue the three-game trip on Tuesday in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.