National Hockey League
- MTS Centre PUCK DROP -
St. Louis Blues
ML: STL +111
Winnipeg Jets
ML: WIN -123
Goalie Performance
Carter Hutton
#40 G Carter Hutton
Connor Hellebuyck
#37 G Connor Hellebuyck
0.974 SV% 37 SV
1.000 SV% 29 SV
Scoring Leaders
David Perron
#57 LW David Perron Shots 8
Colton Parayko
#55 D Colton Parayko Shots 3
Alexander Steen
#20 LW Alexander Steen Shots 3
Blake Wheeler
#26 RW Blake Wheeler Goals Assists 2 1
Bryan Little
#18 C Bryan Little Goals Assists 1 1
Dustin Byfuglien
#33 D Dustin Byfuglien Goals Assists 0 2

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- It took 65 games but the Winnipeg Jets finally displayed the 200-foot game that coach Paul Maurice has been preaching all year long with a tenacious 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Once captain Blake Wheeler gave the Jets a 1-0 lead at the midway point of the first period, the Jets put on a backchecking clinic the likes of which have rarely been seen at the MTS Centre this season.

Connor Hellebuyck was the primary beneficiary of his teammates' doggedness without the puck as he stopped 29 shots in posting his fourth shutout of the season. Carter Hutton turned aside 37 of 38 shots in the Blues net.

The win improved the Jets' record to 29-30-6 for 64 points, pulling them to within four points of idle Los Angeles for the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference. The Kings have one game in hand. The Blues, meanwhile, fell to 31-27-5 and 67 points, one point back of Los Angeles.

With the Jets content to sit on their 1-0 lead late in the game, center Bryan Little applied the dagger when he outraced defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on a dump in into the St. Louis zone with the Blues goalie on the bench to give the Jets a 2-0 lead at 17:44 of the third period. Wheeler added a second goal into the empty cage with 69 seconds remaining, giving Jets fans the one thing they crave at this time of year -- hope.

Jets coach Paul Maurice was particularly proud of his new No. 1 defense pairing of Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrisette. The two youngsters rendered Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko practically invisible at times and were physical forces all night long.

"Jake has started well this year and continued to build and build and build. He was a dominant force on the ice, physical along the boards, skating up in the ice. On the power play now, (he) improved us drastically. You don't want to be saying that as a coach but having him back with Josh, that's a helluva a young pair of defensemen," Maurice said.

Trouba, who returned to the lineup after sitting out a two-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head on Ottawa's Mark Stone, said Friday night's defensive effort was one of the Jets' best of the season.

"It just didn't seem like we gave up too many Grade-A chances and when we had a lapse, that next layer was there to pick it up. When there was a shot, (Hellebuyck) made the save. Overall, it was just a good team effort," he said.

The 22-year-old singled out fellow D-man Toby Enstrom for his play in the Jets end, most notably blocking five shots, the most of any player on the ice not wearing goaltending equipment. On at least two occasions, he was literally the last line of defense.

"On the PK and five-on-five, he had a couple of good blocks for us and that's something you seem to always get from Toby," he said.

Trouba also had an assist but the Jets were led by Wheeler with three points and Little and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien with two points each. Finnish phenom Patrik Laine's six-game point streak, which included eight goals and four assists, was snapped.

Blues coach Mike Yeo said his team has picked a bad time to go into free-fall, losing their fifth consecutive game in regulation time.

"Well, this should be a good slap in the face for us," he said. "I get the sense that sometimes we assume or think things are going to turn around for us. In fairness, I think there were some guys, (Hutton) being one of them, that their desperation was very noticeable. And then we had some other guys whose desperation level did not match our situation."

Hutton didn't think the Blues were able to equal the Jets effort defensively.

"We gave up a lot of good chances. Any time you're giving up, I don't know how many shots they ended up with, but that's not good enough. We're playing a desperate hockey team and they showed they wanted it a lot more than us tonight," he said.

"I think we have to compete more. It's one of those games where I thought they came to play and we struggled to find our game early. The second period wasn't great. I thought late we made our push but it wasn't great. They got a couple empty netters and their goalie played great. It was a tough loss, for sure."

NOTES: In the pressbox for the Jets are D Tyler Myers, D Mark Stuart, G Ondrej Pavelec and LW Nic Petan. ... Joining them from the Blues are RW Nail Yakupov, D Jordan Schmaltz, C Kyle Brodziak and RW Dmitrij Jaskin. ... St. Louis RW Ryan Reaves has more support than most visiting players in Winnipeg. His dad, Willard, was a running back for the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the mid-1980s. ... The other Winnipeg-born member of the Blues is C Alex Steen, whose dad, Thomas, was a top player for Winnipeg Jets 1.0 in the '80s and '90s. ... Friday night's game starts a string of 11 out of 15 at home for the Jets.
Top Game Performances
St. Louis   Winnipeg
N/A Points Blake Wheeler 3
N/A Goals Blake Wheeler 2
N/A Assists Dustin Byfuglien 2
N/A Power Play Goals Blake Wheeler 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Carter Hutton .974 Save Percentage Connor Hellebuyck 1.000
Carter Hutton 37 Saves Connor Hellebuyck 29
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
St. Louis 29 0 0-3 4-5 14 38
Winnipeg 40 3 1-5 3-3 10 31
Upcoming Games
  • Winnipeg will play their next game at home against Colorado. The Jets have a W/L % of .429 after a win and .459 after a loss.
  • St. Louis will play their next game on the road against Colorado. The Blues have a W/L % of .469 after a win and .516 after a loss.