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Blues host Jets for first time since '96

by Jon Lane /

JETS (5-6-2) at BLUES (6-1-2)


Last 10: Winnipeg 3-5-2

Season series: The Winnipeg Jets overcame Alexander Steen's two goals and a 3-1 deficit on Oct. 18 to defeat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 in a shootout. The teams will play one another three more times in 2013-14, with the next game scheduled for Dec. 10 in Winnipeg.

Big story: The Blues host the Jets on Tuesday for the first time since 1996, when Keith Tkachuk played for the original Jets franchise that relocated to Phoenix. Tkachuk played for the Jets/Coyotes franchise from 1992-2001, then with the Blues from 2001-2006.

Team Scope:

Jets: Winnipeg carried a 2-1 lead into the third period of their game Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche until allowing two goals in the final 13 minutes of an eventual 3-2 loss in Denver. Most frustrating to Jets coach Claude Noel was the ongoing blackout of the power play. Winnipeg is 0-for-26 with the man advantage over its past eight games and has only five goals in 49 chances this season. Furthermore, the Jets are 2-for-20 on the power play away from MTS Centre.

"It's getting old," Noel said. "We don't make the greatest decisions, we don't execute, and these are the things we lamented before. We were 0-for-5 [Sunday]; it cost us the game. They got a lot of shots. They have speed, but we created quite a few of our problems. Some of the stuff we did, you really had to give your head a shake. The game was up for grabs, and to me, we let it slip away."

Blues: St. Louis busted out of a 1-1-2 stretch that saw them total six goals with their 6-1 win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, their fourth straight victory at Bridgestone Arena. Steen scored twice, and T.J. Oshie, Jaden Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo each had a goal and an assist.

“We came out a lot harder today, which I think is expected,” Steen said. “We’re back in the rhythm of things.”

Who's hot: Steen's 15 points (10 goals, five assists) ranks among the League leaders, and he has scored in four straight games. David Backes has two goals and three assists in four games, including one of each against the Jets on Oct. 18. … Jets forward Blake Wheeler has a goal in three of his past four games, and five with two assists in six career games against St. Louis.

Injury report: Jets defenseman Paul Postma is out indefinitely after a blood clot was discovered in his leg. Center Jim Slater and defenseman Mark Stuart are each day-to-day with lower-body injuries. Defenseman Jacob Trouba (upper body) is on injured reserve since crashing into the boards during the Jets' Oct. 18 meeting against the Blues. … St. Louis forward Chris Stewart (upper body) skated Monday and will play against Winnipeg, but Magnus Paajarvi (upper body) is out. Defenseman Barret Jackman and left wing Brenden Morrow are day to day with upper-body injuries.


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