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Jets top Blues; back-to-back shutouts for Pavelec

by Louie Korac /

ST. LOUIS -- Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves for back-to-back shutouts, and the Winnipeg Jets defeated the St. Louis Blues 1-0 at Scottrade Center on Tuesday.

Chris Thorburn scored 2:31 into the second period, and Pavelec made 30 saves.

The Jets (42-26-12) hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. They lead the Los Angeles Kings by three points after the defending Stanley Cup champions lost 4-2 at the Edmonton Oilers.

Pavelec made 32 saves in a 2-0 win at the Minnesota Wild on Monday; his shutout streak is at 122:05.

"There's no better way, shut out the two teams, that's as good as it gets," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "[Monday] night's game, there was a cost to it, and you could see it at times (tonight) but not in terms of effort.

"Our goaltender again was really good and everybody on the bench had a piece of the game."

Pavelec is 9-2-0 having started 11 of the past 12 games.

"It's a really good four points," Pavelec said. "Good wins but we've got two more (games remaining).

"We know we can do it. Overall we played a very good game, so we know we can play with these guys. They were missing some guys (Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko) in the lineup, so that's always good. ... I was able to see (the puck) all game. In the third period the puck was just missing the net. You needed luck to get a shutout."

The Blues (49-24-7) lead the Nashville Predators by one point for first place in the Central Division and the Chicago Blackhawks by three. The Predators lost 3-2 at the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, and the Blackhawks lost 2-1 to the Wild.

Jake Allen made 30 saves for St. Louis, which outshot the Jets 10-3 in the third period.

"We play these guys five times a year, it seems like we're getting a little bit of a rivalry in there," Blues right wing T.J. Oshie said. "It was a good, hard-fought game. They played [Monday] night and came in, did a good job pushing back when we had momentum, and we have to find ways to score."

Allen said, "We're playing against a team that's fighting for their lives. I just don't think we had enough urgency in our game. We have a playoff spot locked up but they don't. We didn't match their intensity."

Thorburn scored on a backhand after the Jets won an offensive-zone faceoff. A shot from the point got to the front of the net, and Thorburn scored his seventh of the season, first since Feb. 14.

"The game-winning goal comes from the line that played the least but had the biggest impact," Maurice said.

The Blues thought they tied the game when Steve Ott fed Paul Stastny, who scored on a backhand with 5:01 left in the second, but officials waved off the goal, calling Stastny for slashing the stick of Jets defenseman Tyler Myers.

"I was just battling, getting good stick position, playing simple," Stastny said. "I saw a pass coming. I'm just trying to make body or stick position. I thought nothing of it.

"I think if I would have gone extremely hard, if I would have been hesitant about it or broken [Myers'] stick, I would have understood; it's an easy call."

Myers' opinion was different.

"I think it was pretty clear [Stastny] just slashed my stick out of my hand," Myers said. "I don't think there's much to argue there if you look at the full replay."

Pavelec made a brilliant right-pad save on a redirection by Jaden Schwartz in the third period after a pass from Stastny with 8:31 remaining.

"He's been unbelievable," Myers said of Pavelec. "You can tell he's playing with a lot of confidence."

The Jets finish their trip Thursday against the Avalanche and end the regular season Saturday at home against the Calgary Flames.

"We didn't give up much," Myers said. "That's the way we have to play. We're just all on the same page. … It's going well, we just have to realize we can't get comfortable."

The Blues close their season with home games against Chicago on Thursday and Minnesota on Saturday.

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