Preview: Blues look to avenge recent loss to Winnipeg

October 28, 2013

Paced by consistent production from Alexander Steen, the St. Louis Blues hope they're back on track.

They'll look to build on their latest win while trying to avenge a recent loss to the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.

St. Louis (6-1-2) totaled 10 goals during a 1-1-2 stretch that preceded a 6-1 victory at Nashville on Saturday. Steen scored twice and T.J. Oshie, Jaden Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo each had a goal and an assist.

"We're back in the rhythm of things," Steen told the Blues' official website. "We came out a lot harder (Saturday), which I think is expected."

Among the league leaders with 15 points, Steen has recorded six of his team-leading 10 goals while scoring in four straight contests. The veteran center had eight goals in 40 games last season and never more than 24 in any of his previous eight.

"He feels like he's fresh on the ice and when you're fresh, you're confident," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's how he's feeling right now."

Steen scored twice as St. Louis built a 3-1 lead at Winnipeg (5-6-2) on Oct. 18, but the Jets scored a pair late in the third period and won a seven-round shootout.

Winnipeg, however, is 1-2-2 since that contest and 1-1-1 on a four-game trip. Each of the Jets' last four games have been decided by one goal, with two going into shootout and another decided in overtime.

Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler each had a goal and an assist Sunday at Colorado, where the Jets led 2-1 before they allowed two third-period goals and lost 3-2.

"Just disappointing to not come away with at least a point," said Al Montoya, who made 33 saves in his second start of the season.

Winnipeg has been held to two goals in each game on the trip and is 0 for 25 on the power play over the last eight contests. The Jets, last in the NHL on the power play last season at 13.8 percent, again sit near the bottom at 5 for 49.

The franchise has not gone nine straight games without a power-play goal since an 0-for-38 drought that covered 12 contests Feb. 8-March 14, 2002, when the team was the Atlanta Thrashers. Wheeler scored Winnipeg's most recent power-play goal during the third period of a 4-1 loss to Dallas on Oct. 11. The Jets are 2 for 20 with the man advantage on the road.

"Power play is getting old. These are the same players we had last year and there was a reason why we were last year," coach Claude Noel said. "We're seeing some of the same things we saw last year. We don't make the greatest decisions, we don't execute, and these are the things we lamented before. We were 0 for 5 (on Sunday); it cost us the game."

Wheeler has a goal in three of the last four contests. He has five and two assists in six career games against St. Louis.

Blues forward David Backes has two goals and three assists in four games, including one of each against the Jets on Oct. 18.