What a difference 24 hours makes. Well at least on the scoreboard. Its not like the Blues got any better since Saturday nights win even with the return of captain Alex Pietrangelo.
Following a 48 save shutout by Carter Hutton, Jake Allen took his turn in net in Winnipeg as the Blues and Jets wrapped up a back to back home and home series. The first period set the game up to be a carbon copy of the previous nights game as Allen and Connor Hellebuyck matched each other save for save just as Hutton and Steve Mason did in St. Louis.
Just under three minutes into the game Joel Armia found himself wide open in the slot but Allen pushed out from the net and took away most of the net, preventing Armia from getting much of a chance. Just two minutes later Colton Parayko stole the puck from Nikolaj Ehlers and moved in on a partial breakaway but Hellebuyck stood firm and turned him aside.
After trading penalties the Blues got a true powerplay with nine minutes remaining as Alex Steen drew a tripping penalty after driving hard to the net and almost slipping the puck underneath Hellebuyck. On the ensuing man advantage Hellebuyck stoned Vladimir Tarasenko on yet another partial breakaway and then robbed Dmitrij Jaskin as the power play expired to keep the Blues off the board.
As the 1st wound down Allen was tested yet again as the Jets moved in on a 2-0 break.
Despite the chances for the Blues in the first, the Jets essentially controlled play and seemed to be falling right back into their game from Saturday night.
The second period Saturday night was one of the worst we have seen this season but the Blues decided it wasn't bad enough and proceeded to lay another egg in the second period of this game.
Chris Tanev broke into the Blues zone just over 4 minutes into the period and was pursued by not only Parayko but Joel Edmundson as well which left the front of the net unprotected. Paul Stastny did his best to block Andrew Copp from passing it to a wide open Adam Lowry but the puck slipped under Stastny’s body and Lowry buried the easy one timer for the lead.
Winnipeg continued to pour shots on Allen who found out exactly how Hutton felt Saturday night. Despite the lack of defensive help, Allen turned aside shot after shot until a Jets power play with 6 minutes left in the second. Patrik Laine has so far avoided a sophomore slump and as evidence by this shot you can see why.
Winnipeg absolutely rolled the Blues in second period, chalking up 16 shots to just 6 for the Blues while netting 2 goals. For the second night in a row a disappointing second period for the Blues except tonight it cost them.
Despite the lackluster second the Blues still had a chance to get back in the game. The Blues weren't 5-0-1 in the second game of back to backs for no reason. But whether it was the physicality of the two games, the early start time or injuries finally catching up, the Blues just couldn't muster much in the third and a close game slipped away quickly.
The Jets netted two more goals just two minutes apart midway through the third on poor efforts by the Blues to back check or even play defense. Mark Scheifele cruised into the slot untouched around the twelve minute mark and smartly redirected a Josh Morrissey pass right past Allen.
Two minutes later it was Morrissey himself who would blow one past Allen. After breaking his stick on a blocked shot Tarasenko tried to get to the bench for a replacement but in doing so allowed Morrissey to slip into the slot wide open and take a pass from Blake Wheeler before blasting a shot past Allen.
St. Louis was unable to mount any sort of push back after that and fell listlessly as time expired. For the second straight night the Jets peppered Blues goaltending with 40+ shots, despite the Blues being one of the best teams at allowing shots and shot attempts. The shutout was the second in the last four games for the Blues and in those four games they have scored just one 5 on 5 goal, Patrik Berglund’s garbage time goal against Anaheim.
The Blues will look to get back on track and get healthier by the time they take on the Flames Wednesday night in Calgary. Despite the loss the Blues remain tied with Nashville for first in the Central but the Predators have two games in hand including a matchup with Winnipeg Tuesday night. The Jets move to within three points of the top spot and could make it one pint after Tuesday night.
#3 - Andrew Copp: 2 Assists
#2 - Josh Morrissey: Goal and Assist
#1 - Connor Hellebuyck: 24 saves, second shutout of the season