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Blues ready for division showdown with Jets

by Chris Pinkert / Notes by Brett Barczewski

WINNIPEG - The St. Louis Blues (69 points) find themselves four points behind the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators (73 points) for the top spot in the Central Division, making Friday's matchup against the Jets at Bell MTS Place a big one.

Fans can follow the action on FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO or KMOX 1120 AM.

 

THE MATCHUP

BLUES Alex Pietrangelo promised a good response and that's exactly what the Blues delivered Thursday in a 6-1 rout of the Colorado Avalanche at Scottrade Center.

Brayden Schenn scored two goals and dropped the gloves right off the opening faceoff, Vince Dunn became the first Blues rookie defenseman since Erik Johnson (Jan. 8, 2008) to record three assists in a single game and Carter Hutton made 23 saves to secure a big divisional win for St. Louis.

"It was a team that had each other's backs tonight," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "... I kind of felt it in the morning and at the rink there [Wednesday] getting ready for today. Some good conversations with some guys. I've said it before, we have a lot of character inside our locker room. It was a disappointing game a couple games ago and we were confident that they were going to bounce back."

JETS Dustin Byfuglien had a goal and an assist and goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 21 saves to help the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.

With the win, the Jets have collected points in eight straight games (6-0-2) and improved to 3-0-1 on their current 10-game homestand. The win also moved Winnipeg back into first place in the Central Division (although Nashville has caught up and holds the tie-breaker with 73 points).

"We've been pretty good against the teams that have struggled a bit, we haven't taken anybody lightly," Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice told NHL.com after the win against Arizona. "And we've racked up the points."

Winnipeg could get a boost with the possible return of Mark Scheifele, who has been injured since Dec. 27 but was cleared for full contact Wednesday. Winnipeg has gone 11-2-3 without Scheifele in the lineup.

HEAD-TO-HEAD The Blues and Jets have split the season series so far, with each team winning at home. The Blues are 0-3-0 in their last three trips to Winnipeg, but before that went 6-0-2 in the previous eight.


HOT VS. WINNIPEG

- Vladimir Tarasenko has 14 points in his last 13 games (seven goals, seven assists)

- Alexander Steen has eight points in his last 10 games (three goals, five assists)

- Brayden Schenn has six points in his last seven games (two goals, four assists)

- Jaden Schwartz has three points in his last four games (three assists)

Video: Blues travel to face division rival Jets


BLUE NOTES

- The Blues are 6-2-2 this season in the second game of back-to-backs and are 21-4-2 in their last 27 games in that scenario overall.

- Jake Allen's next win will be the 109th of his Blues career, moving him ahead of Grant Fuhr for third on the Blues' all-time wins list.

- Chris Thorburn spent 10 seasons with the Atlanta / Winnipeg franchise, posting 121 points (49 goals, 72 assists) in 709 games.

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