National Hockey League
Jets-Blues Preview
National Hockey League

Jets-Blues Preview

Updated Mar. 5, 2020 1:40 a.m. ET

An injury to Jake Allen opened the door for Brian Elliott to get more consistent starts in net. He's done his part, and he'd like the offense to continue doing the same.

Elliott is expected to make a 12th straight start while the Blues try to build on a strong offensive showing Tuesday night against the last-place Winnipeg Jets.

Allen went 18-10-3 with a 2.17 goals-against average and five shutouts in 33 games, getting the bulk of the playing time over Elliott before going down with a knee injury last month.

Elliott has picked up where Allen left off, going 7-3-1 with a 1.74 GAA and one shutout after making 38 saves in Saturday's 4-1 win over Minnesota.


"He's been the best player for our team for a long time and he played a good game (Saturday) as well," said center Jori Lehtera, who had one goal and one assist. "That's nothing special anymore."

Goals have been hard to come by lately for the Blues (30-17-8), who have averaged 2.27 over the last 11 games. St. Louis (30-17-8) was outscored 7-3 during a 1-2-1 stretch prior to beating the Wild.

"It's awesome when the guys are putting it in," Elliott said. "You just kind of get uplifted. I think the whole bench feels it and you just kind of keep going and get on that good feeling train."

That hasn't been much of a problem against the Jets (23-26-3) this season. St. Louis has scored 11 goals while winning all three meetings, tallying three unanswered to rally for a 4-3 victory at Winnipeg on Dec. 15.

Vladimir Tarasenko had one goal and two assists, giving him four and three against the Central Division rival this season. He had three points in his first eight matchups.

Elliott is 5-0-1 with a 1.92 GAA in his last six starts against the Jets.

Winnipeg is trying to build on Saturday's 4-2 win at Colorado after losing five of its previous six games while giving up 21 goals.

"We were just on the puck," coach Paul Maurice said. "We don't give them the room to skate pucks out and to use that speed. We just contested every puck."

Drew Stafford had two goals and one assist, matching his point total from the eight prior games. The right wing, though, will serve a one-game suspension for hitting the Avalanche's Nick Holden in the face with his stick. He was issued a double-minor for high-sticking, but the NHL's department of player safety felt he should he in better control of his stick.

Mark Scheifele had a goal and an assist in Winnipeg's last meeting with St. Louis, but hasn't scored in 10 games since. He also missed seven games in that span with a lower-body injury.

This will be the first game for Dustin Byfuglien since the Jets defenseman signed a $38-million, five-year extension Monday that prevents him from becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer.

"It never really crossed my mind going anywhere," Byfuglien said. "You can't win a Stanley Cup overnight. It's a process, and I feel they're in the right state, so I thought I'd run with them."

Byfuglien has four goals and seven points in his last five games and is tied for second among NHL defensemen with 15 goals.


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