The road struggles continued for the slumping Winnipeg Jets who lost their sixth consecutive game on Monday. The St. Louis Blues scored two goals in the first period and held on for a 3-2 win at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Coming off a blowout loss to the Nashville Predators the Jets effort was much better on Monday, but they still didn’t get the desired results. The Jets finished the four game road trip without even a single point after getting swept by four Central Division rivals while getting outscored 21-8 in the process.
David Backes scored two goals and added one assist for the Blues in the victory. Blues goalie Jake Allen wasn’t overly busy but he made a few clutch saves in the third period to preserve the win and he finished the game with 16 saves. Michael Hutchinson stopped 25 of 28 shots after getting pulled in his last start.
For the 15th time in 19 Jets games this season the opponent scored first. Vladimir Tarasenko skated through the slot, took the pass and fired it behind Hutchinson. It was his 11th goal of the season and the Jets were once again playing catch up.
The Blue powerplay then connected. After winning the race to the puck in the Jets zone, Kevin Shattenkirk sent it in front for David Backes and he outmaneuvered Hutchinson for the Blues second goal. St. Louis led two-nothing after the opening period.
The Jets have really struggled to find their scoring touch in the second period in recent games. But trailing by two the Jets got on the scoreboard to start the period. After stealing the puck Alex Burmistrov fed it back to the point for Dustin Byfuglien and his blast from the blueline beat Allen and it was 2-1.
Exactly 36 seconds later Mathieu Perreault got to the loose puck in the corner centring for Bryan Little and with the flick of his wrist it was a tie hockey game. Little’s ninth goal of the season was also assisted by Anthony Peluso and it was 2-2.
But the Jets celebration was shortlived as only minutes later the Winnipeg born Alex Steen showed great patience after carrying into the Jets end and he spotted Backes in the slot who lifted in the backhand. Backes’ second goal of the game restored the lead for St. Louis.
There’d be no scoring in the final frame. The Jets couldn’t generate much in the way of offensive opportunities but just missed the tieing goal with 15 seconds left in regulation as Little whiffed trying to bat in the puck out of mid air.
The Jets made two lineup changes after getting mauled by the Predators on Saturday. Anthony Peluso and Adam Pardy both checked in as Nic Petan and Ben Chiarot were healthy scratches. Paul Postma was also not dressed for the Jets while Winnipeg’s Ryan Reaves wasn’t in the lineup for St. Louis.
The only good news for the Jets is they now return home for a three game homestand starting Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks.