Jets fall to Blues
ST. LOUIS—With Vladimir Tarasenko and T.J. Oshie both out of the St. Louis Blues’ lineup, captain David Backes stepped up to fill the void.
Backes scored twice in the third period, giving him 23 goals on the season, as the Blues skated to a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets last night.
“That doesn’t happen a whole lot,” Backes said.
“Sometimes when things aren’t going perfect for you, you take them any way you can get them,” he reasoned.
“Hopefully it’s the start of a little streak here.”
Jets’ coach Paul Maurice wasn’t too pleased that it happened yesterday.
“I don’t think that game should have gone to 3-1,” he remarked.
“I don’t think that’s an automatic goal. I don’t think it’s a slash.
“He goes down, maybe they locked feet,” Maurice added. “But it’s not unimpeded progress.
“That game should be still 2-1 in my mind.
“But 2-1 is still a deficit for us,” he conceded.
Ryan Miller made 16 saves for the Blues, who are 7-0-1 since he was acquired by trade from Buffalo.
St. Louis now has won three-straight and eight of nine.
Western Conference-leading St. Louis has an NHL-best 101 points. It is the sixth time in franchise history that the Blues have reached 100 points.
Brendan Morrow added a goal while Jay Bouwmeester had two assists against Winnipeg.
Eric O’Dell had the lone goal for the Jets, with Al Montoya making 23 saves.
Montoya thought his team fell into the Blues’ trap.
“This is what that team does,” he noted. “They get up by a goal and they hold the fort.”
Blues’ coach Ken Hitchcock said his team easily could have had a bigger lead.
“We made a game of it because we couldn’t pull away in the second period when we had all the scoring chances,” he remarked.
“We really played well in the second period.”
Tarasenko is expected to miss six weeks because of a hand injury sustained Saturday against Nashville.
Oshie, whose first child was born earlier yesterday, should be back for tomorrow’s game at Chicago.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Tampa Bay edged Vancouver 4-3, Boston beat Minnesota 4-1, and Phoenix nipped L.A. 4-3.