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Blues seek third straight win against Jets

by Brian Compton

JETS (31-29-9) at BLUES (46-14-7)


Last 10: Winnipeg 3-3-4; St. Louis 7-2-1

Season series: This is the fifth and final game of the regular season between the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues. The Blues are 3-0-1 against the Jets; two of the four games have gone to shootouts.

Big story: Winnipeg moved within four points of the final Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Western Conference when it earned a 7-2 win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday night. The victory snapped a six-game skid (0-3-3). St. Louis, which is seeking its third straight win, sits atop the NHL standings with 99 points, two ahead of the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks.

Team Scope:

Jets: Winnipeg hindered its playoff hopes with its recent slide, but the Jets received contributions across the roster Sunday when they cruised to a 7-2 win against Dallas at MTS Centre. Dustin Byfuglien had two goals, Blake Wheeler had four assists and Jacob Trouba, Michael Frolik, Evander Kane, Ollie Jokinen and Tobias Enstrom also scored to help the Jets gain ground in the playoff race.

"This is huge," said goalie Al Montoya, who made 25 saves for his first win since Feb. 2. "We're going to enjoy this one and then get right back to work. Nobody is taking any games lightly anymore. The best teams are going to be the best teams. We're going to have to go in there and play that blue-collar game."

Blues: St. Louis will have to continue its pursuit of the Presidents' Trophy without forward Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues announced Sunday that the 22-year-old will undergo surgery after injuring his right hand during a 4-1 win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Tarasenko, who ranks sixth on the Blues with 43 points (21 goals, 22 assists), will be reevaluated in six weeks.

With Tarasenko out, the Blues recalled forward Dmitrij Jaskin from the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.

Following the game Monday, the Blues will embark on a four-game road trip that sees stops against the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs. They will return to Scottrade Center on March 27 to begin a five-game homestand.

Who's hot: Jets right wing Michael Frolik extended his point streak to four games (two goals, two assists) Sunday. Wheeler has six assists in the past four games. … Blues center Patrik Berglund scored twice Saturday; he has three goals and one assist in his past five games. Left wing Alexander Steen is 1-3-4 in his past four.

Injury report: Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec (lower body) and forwards Chris Thorburn (foot), Mark Scheifele (lower body) and John Albert (upper body) are day-to-day. Forward James Wright (ankle) is out indefinitely and defenseman Grant Clitsome (back) will miss the rest of the season. … Besides Tarasenko, the Blues could also be without forward Magnus Paajarvi (upper body) and defenseman Jordan Leopold (ankle).

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