Blues-Jets Preview

After posting a winning record on their longest road trip of the

season, the Winnipeg Jets will try to start earning some better

results on their own ice.

The Jets will seek to end a three-game home losing streak

Tuesday night against a St. Louis Blues team that’s attempting to

avoid its fourth defeat in five overall contests.

Winnipeg (14-13-4) won four of six on its trek and finished with

a 2-1 overtime victory against Tampa Bay on Saturday. Mark

Scheifele scored the winning goal, and Blake Wheeler had a goal and

an assist.

“It would have been disappointing to go home 3-3,” coach Claude

Noel said. “That would have been a tough one.”

The Jets now try to avoid their longest home losing streak of

the season. Winnipeg beat St. Louis 4-3 in a shootout Oct. 18 in

the only meeting this season at the MTS Centre.

The Jets are facing three straight Central Division opponents on

their homestand.

“I think we’re in a good place right now, but we’ve got a big

week,” Noel said. “This week could really test us. We’ve got some

really good opponents. We’ll see where we stand. … If we can have

a good week, it will help our confidence. It will help a lot of

things.”

The Blues are 4-0-1 in the last five matchups with the Jets and

won 3-2 in the most recent one Oct. 29. St. Louis, though, has

cooled off from its 18-3-3 start and season-high five-game win

streak.

The Blues (19-6-3) lost the final two of a three-game road trip

– their first back-to-back losses away from home this season – and

split two games after returning home.

Following a 5-1 rout of the New York Islanders on Thursday, the

Blues were beaten 5-2 by Anaheim two days later. They fell behind

3-0 in the first 7:29 and have been outscored 9-1 in the first

period in their last four games.

“That’s three times in the last four games that we’ve had slow

starts for whatever reason. We’ve got to readjust and get better at

that,” forward Jaden Schwartz said. “I think the energy is there in

the locker room. We’ve got to put a little more focus on being

ready when the puck drops.”

After Jaroslav Halak struggled in Saturday’s loss, the Blues

might turn to Brian Elliot, who stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced

in relief versus the Ducks.

Elliott, though, also gave up two goals to the Jets in the final

seven minutes of regulation Oct. 18 and was outdueled by Ondrej

Pavelec in the ensuing seven-round shootout.

St. Louis’ Alexander Steen scored twice in that game and has

three of his 20 goals in the two matchups with Winnipeg, tied for

his most against any opponent this season.

Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler has six goals and two assists in seven

career matchups, and Dustin Byfuglien has one goal and seven

assists during a six-game point streak versus the Blues.

The Jets lost a season-high four in a row at home Feb. 7-17, and

St. Louis’ longest road losing streak in 2012-13 was three games

from Feb. 20-March 5.