Tarasenko scores twice as Blues defeat Jets 5-2
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — One impressive burst was enough for the St. Louis Blues.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals and the Blues used a big push in the second period to beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Friday night.
St. Louis had dropped seven of its last eight meetings against Winnipeg, including all five games last season. The Blues and Jets split a pair of shutouts in mid-December.
“This team has pretty much spanked us around the last three years,” said Jake Allen, who had 20 saves for St. Louis. “They beat us every time last year. We had a win at the start of the year, but they pretty much spanked us both those games so we needed to show them that we’re not intimidated.”
Tarasenko, Patrik Berglund and Alexander Steen scored in a 7 1/2-minute span of the second, helping St. Louis open a 3-0 lead. Tarasenko added his 23nd goal in the third after Winnipeg had pulled within one. Jaden Schwartz scored into an empty net and had an assist.
Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine scored for the Jets (32-14-9), who lost an eight-game point streak (6-0-2). The result also stopped Winnipeg’s home point streak at 10 games.
“Nobody is in a good mood and you’re angry with it. You don’t like to get beat like that,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “We got beat in St. Louis and played one hell of a game. We weren’t any good tonight and didn’t deserve to win the game.”
St. Louis (34-20-3) was coming off a 6-1 victory over Colorado on Thursday night.
Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves for the Jets, who were playing their fifth game of a 10-game homestand (3-1-1).
Winnipeg had Mark Scheifele back on the ice for his first game since a Dec. 27 upper-body injury. The top-line center had missed 16 games.
“Had to shake off a little bit of rust early, but felt better and better as the game went on and got more comfortable,” Scheifele said.
The Blues went ahead to stay when Brayden Schenn got the puck in the corner and passed it out to Tarasenko in the circle, where he fired a high shot past Hellebuyck’s blocker side at 4:18. Tarasenko hadn’t scored in the Blues’ last six games.
Berglund redirected in a shot by defenseman Robert Bortuzzo at 10:13, and then Steen one-timed a rebound that went by Hellebuyck at 11:39.
Kyle Connor got the Jets on the board with 2:27 left in the period when his one-timer from the slot went off Blues defenseman Vince Dunn and past Allen for his 18th goal.
The Jets had a pair of power plays midway through the third period and Laine made good on the second one, blasting a high shot past Allen at 11:39. But Tarasenko responded with his second of the game just over a minute later.
“(Laine) shoots the puck harder than anyone in the league,” Allen said. “I’d put him up there against anyone. It’s not even close.
“(His shot) was sort of through a few bodies so I didn’t really get a good pick up on it, but still he’s got the laser.”
With the Jets on the power play, Schwartz scored his 17th of the season into the empty net to make it 5-2.
Vladimir Tarasenko says the #stlblues have been putting forth a strong effort all season, and he’s happy it’s paying off now: “I can tell from my six-year experience in St. Louis — it’s never been a team that doesn’t care, and (there’s) never been one player that doesn’t care.” pic.twitter.com/Kn5qRVRQ7m
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) February 10, 2018
NOTES: The Blues’ record when leading after two periods this season climbed to 26-0-1.
Blues: Host Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Jets: Host the New York Rangers on Sunday.