National Hockey League action on Tuesday evening and a pair of teams from the Central Division will square off in the first round of the playoffs as the Winnipeg Jets grapple with the St Louis Blues at Enterprise Center in St Louis, Missouri. The Blues lead the series two games to one.
Jets Get On The Board
The Winnipeg Jets had a very solid season overall and they come in as the 3rd seed in the West, but their playoff run got off to a slow start as they lost both home games of this series. The Jets did finally get on the board when the scene shifted to St Louis as they grabbed game three by a score of 6-3. Winnipeg will now look to even the series and take back their home ice advantage, but it will not be easy as the Blues have not lost much at home over the 2nd half of the season and Jordan Binnington has not had too many bad games in a row. Scoring in the win was Kevin Hayes, which was his 20th of the year, Patrik Laine, which was his 33rd, Kyle Connor, who scored twice and now has 36 on the year, Brandon Tanev, which was his 15th, and Dustin Byfuglien, which was his 5th.
Grabbing the win was Connor Hellebuyck, who stopped 26 of the 29 shots that he faced. Hellebuyck was 34-26 with a 2.90 GAA during the regular season, including 15-12 with a 2.92 GAA on the road and 2-1 with a 2.00 GAA against the Blues. In his career, he has gone 6-3 with a 1.66 GAA against the Blues and 10-10 with a 2.47 GAA in the postseason. The Jets have gone 23-19 on the road and they have averaged 2.98 gpg and have allowed 3.07 gpg in those games. During the regular season, Winnipeg ranked 4th in the league in power play conversions at 24.8% and 22nd in penalty kill at 79.2%.
Blues Look To Regroup
The St Louis Blues were one of the hotter teams in the league over the 2nd half of the season and they used that momentum to perfection as they grabbed a 2-0 series lead against the Jets, winning both games on the road. The Blues then came home and struggled in a 6-3 loss, so they will be looking to regroup and at the same time keep the home-ice advantage that they grabbed in winning peg. St Louis had a 1-0 lead over Winnipeg after the first period, but they were outscored 6-2 the rest of the way. Scoring in the loss was David Perron, which was his 25th of the year, Vladimir Tarasenko, which was his 34th and Alexander Steen, which was his 11th.
Absorbing the game three loss was Jordan Binnington, who allowed all six goals on 29 shot attempts. Binnington was 24-6 with a 1.89 GAA during the regular season, including 14-2 with a 2.02 GAA here at home. He did not face the Jets in the regular season and he is 2-1 with a 3.36 GAA in this series, which has been his first taste of playoff action. St Louis has gone 24-18 here at home and they have averaged 3.24 gpg and have allowed 3.05 gpg in those games. During the regular season, St Louis ranked 10th in the league in power play conversions at 21.1% and 9th in penalty kill at 81.5%.
St Louis is:
- 13-3 in their last 16 games as a home favorite
- 22-7 in their last 29 games playing on 1 days rest
- 5-11 in their last 16 Conference Quarterfinals games
- 1-7 in their last 8 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game