Blues Take Jets To Shootout, Lose 2-1


The St. Louis Blues (45-20-6) lost to the Winnipeg Jets (36-23-12) 2-1 after a shootout in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, on Thursday.  This was the fourth of five regular season meetings between these teams.  In their last matchup just a week prior on the 10th, the Blues won 5-4 which gave them a 3-0 lead on the series.  The Blues entered the game following two shutout wins which breathed some life into the organization after some difficult games.  The Jets also won their two prior games

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It wasn’t a total loss, at least.  A point is better than none.  While a win would temporarily put the Blues in the top spot in league standings with Montreal and Anaheim tied for second, the point they earned for taking the game to overtime limits the amount of damage Nashville can do with a win of their own.  Of course, now the Blues have fallen to the third spot in the league, although they are a game and a point behind the leaders.  This could lead to a lot of leapfrogging, but an overtime loss for any of the top two teams could result in the Blues maintaining a number one rank if the points tie.


The teams took turns carrying the puck into the other team’s zone in the early minutes but had trouble getting off a shot.  Four minutes in, Patrik Berglund took the first shot of the game.  Winnipeg evened the count thirty seconds later.  The first strong assault come from Winnipeg six minutes in, but Jaden Schwartz eventually killed the play by knocked the puck out while on his stomach.  The first ten minutes of the game continued this way.

There was a lot of pushing whenever play play would stop in the second ten minutes.  At 15:47 Tobias Enstrom went to the box for tripping to give the Blues the first power play of the game.  The Blues set up early on the power play and took a few shots but were unable to score.  Moments later Steve Ott was called for tripping and earned a double minor for roughing.  Jay Harrison also went to the box for roughing.

The calls resulted in a power play for the Jets for the remainder of the period.  The Blues struggled during the power play buy managed to run down the clock and end the period with the score tied at 0 and 16 seconds left of a penalty to kill.

The Blues killed the penalty at the start of the second period.  The teams continued to play tough, with neither allowing the other a break.  The Jets put up some more effort, though, and took over the shot count.  At 6:05 Adam Lowrey went to the box for crosschecking David Backes.

The Blues quickly set up again on the power play but were stuffed for most of the time and couldn’t score.  However, at 8:08 David Backes scored on a high shot following a botched clearing attempt by the Jets to put the Blues up 1-0.   Paul Stastny and Alex Pietrangelo earned the assists.

At 8:29 Ryan Reaves went to the box for a headshot.  The Jets handled their power play much better than the Blues and put a flurry of shots on goal in the first minute.  The Blues managed to kill the penalty but the Jets maintained their momentum in the following minutes.

Play slowed down a little, but reignited near the end as the Jets continued to put shots on goal while keeping the Blues from doing the same.  At 17:44 Jim Slater was called for interference.  The Blues were able to slow the momentum but came up empty a third time.  Andrew Ladd and Pietrangelo got a little rough at the end of the period which bought them some time in the box and the teams 4 on 4 play for the start of the third.

The Jets held the puck in the Blues’ zone during the 4 on 4 time, hitting the post at one point.  After two minutes the teams went even strength, which didn’t do much to alter the momentum.  The Blues slowly gained more an more time as the period went on and by the halfway point they had slowed the Jets down.

At 13:16 Drew Stafford took a backhand off a break and scored to tie the game at 1.  The Blues came alive following the goal and increased their efforts.  With four minutes left the Blues came in full force and kept the Jets on their heels.  As the clock wound down, the intensity continued to build along with the hits.  The period ended with the teams tied at 1, which sent the game to overtime.

The Blues started overtime on the offensive but the Jets returned the effort after the first minute.  The Blues came back again after three minutes and managed to set up in the Jets’ zone for a moment.  From then on they went back and forth with possession.  The clock ran out which sent the game to a shootout.

Blake Wheeler lost the puck after trying to stop and shoot.  T.J. Oshie drilled a goal through the five-hole to give the blues 1.  Drew Stafford tipped one five-hole as well to tie it.  Vladimir Tarasenko missed a backhand off the goalpost.  Andrew Ladd fired one past Elliot’s glove to put the Jets up 2-1.  Alexander Steen hit a pad to give the Jets the shootout victory.


The Blues had a tough climb trying to hang on to their shutout streak.  Prior to the game, goals in the series were 11-7 which meant this had the potential to be a high scoring game on both ends.  The Jets’ top line was on fire throughout the game and made a lot of scary plays.  As the game developed it didn’t feel like a question of “if,” but “when,” regarding a Winnipeg goal.

By all appearances, this game looked to be near an even match, especially at this start.  This is either to the credit or the fault of the Blues.  Winnipeg made strong entrances and handled the puck with skill.  Additionally, they were able to perpetuate the action when they were near losing possession.  On the other hand, the Blues struggled in these same scenarios; playing dump and chase, mishandling the puck and flailing their sticks in an attempt to save their hides.

The Blues weren’t at their best, which is disappointing.  But even when they aren’t at their best, they aren’t a walk in the park for their opponent.  This says a lot about their potential.

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