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Jets At Blues Game Preview: Tarasenko, Pavelec Out Tonight

Last night the Jets didn't miss Ondrej Pavelec as they cruised to a 7-2 win over a disinterested Stars team. Will Al Montoya be ready to go again tonight?

Dilip Vishwanat

Last night the Winnipeg Jets steamrolled over their closest competition for the last wildcard spot, the Dallas Stars. The Jets are still six points out of the playoffs despite a show of offense that was impressive - they're out, because they can't manage to do that every game. Despite the hot start that they've gotten off to under Paul Maurice, and the fact that their play has improved slightly, they have but a teeny chance of squeaking in.

Thrasher typical.

March is historically a rough month for the Jets, with fatigue setting in on a nearly annual basis. The Blues in March this season shows a team showing no signs of stopping their run. They're 7-0-1 this month; tonight could make it an impressive 19 times that they've beaten a divisional opponent. Of course, the Jets are missing Chris Thorburn and Ondrej Pavelec, so that doesn't necessarily make the job easier - it may make it harder. Al Montoya has a .925 save percentage and a 2.19 goals against average, respectable numbers from a goalie on a team that allows 30.5 shots a game. Pavelec, by contrast, has a .902 save percentage and a garish 2.97 GAA. This may be the only team in the NHL where you're better off with the starter than the backup.

The Blues may be a bit offensively challenged this evening, seeing that Vladimir Tarasenko is dead has an injured hand and T.J. Oshie may very well be out tonight to spend time with his fiancee and brand new baby girl.

Paajarvi is also still out, so Derek Roy and Chris Porter will more than likely be back in tonight. Dmitrij Jaskin may just get a chance to show off as well.

Tonight isn't a sure thing, but the Blues can wind up 4-0-1 against the Jets and regaining the Conference III crown. This game means more for the Jets than for the Blues, but that's no excuse to let two points slip away, especially against a team that played pretty balls to the wall last night.