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game recap

Jake Allen struggles again, Blues lose to Jets

Allows four goals on 23 shots in first start since Jan. 19

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- Jake Allen allowed four goals on 23 shots in his first start since Jan. 19, and the St. Louis Blues lost to the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 at Scottrade Center on Tuesday.

Allen has allowed at least three goals in seven of his past eight starts.

"I felt pretty good, honestly," Allen said. "It wasn't the result we wanted, but for my sake, I honestly felt pretty good."

 

WATCH: All Jets vs. Blues highlights

 

The Jets (24-25-4) moved to within one point of the Blues (24-21-5) for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Winnipeg is 12-4-1 against Central Division opponents this season.

"We know they're big games," said Jets center Mark Scheifele, who had a goal and two assists. "We know they're important and we've got to buckle down for them and that's what we've done this year and we've got to continue to do it."

Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists, and Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers and Jacob Trouba scored for the Jets, who opened a three-game road trip. Ondrej Pavelec made 24 saves.

"Overall it's a good win for us," Pavelec said. "It's a playoff race right now and every point is going to be huge, so I'm really happy with the win."

St. Louis has lost six of its past seven games at Scottrade Center (1-6-0). Alex Pietrangelo had a goal and two assists, and Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist.

"We made mistakes and we're paying for them right now," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We've got to minimize our mistakes. We've got to get more players playing to the same level that some of the guys played at today. There was some really good performances by some people today. We just have to get more people doing it."

The Blues scored first at home for the first time in the past nine games when Alexander Steen's shot caromed off the left skate of Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey in the slot at 3:37 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.

The Jets tied it 1-1 with 30.6 seconds left in the first on Scheifele's 23rd after an outlet pass during 4-on-4 play by Toby Enstrom.

Laine scored his 23rd goal 22 seconds into the second period to make it 2-1, and Ehlers scored at 5:53, seven seconds after a power play started, to make it 3-1.

Tarasenko scored with 52 seconds left in the second to make it 3-2. Trouba made it 4-2 after his pass caromed off Pietrangelo and past Allen at 3:33 of the third period.

Pietrangelo made it 4-3 with 12.2 seconds remaining with Allen pulled for a sixth skater, but Wheeler scored into an empty net with 2.3 remaining to make it 5-3.

 
Goal of the game

When Enstrom realized Pietrangelo pinched on a 4-on-4, he was able to pass to Scheifele, who worked a perfect give-and-go with Wheeler.

Video: WPG@STL: Scheifele tallies on nifty passing play

 

Save of the game

Blues left wing Robby Fabbri saved a Nic Petan shot from the slot into an empty net with 7:09 left in the second and kept the score 3-1.  

Video: WPG@STL: Fabbri denies Petan with blocked shot

 

Highlight of the game

Ehlers took Bryan Little's faceoff win, maneuvered around Blues center Jori Lehtera and released a perfect shot from the right circle past Allen.

Video: WPG@STL: Ehlers' wicked wrister beats Allen for PPG

 

Unsung performance of the game

Trouba had a Winnipeg-high five shots, plus two hits and two takeaways in 24:53 of ice time, second on the Jets to Dustin Byfuglien (28:09).

 

They said it

"We've been very successful the past couple years. Right now it's just one of those seasons when it goes really up and down all the time, and we have a hard time finding momentum through a bunch of games in a row. It's just on us. We have to correct it. We have to compete harder and we've got to just play better hockey. I don't know how to say it. It's on us. We've just got to step up and play better." -- Blues center Patrik Berglund

 

"It was a pivotal game, a team were trying to catch in the standings, so an important one for us." -- Jets captain Blake Wheeler

 

Need to know

Pavelec is 3-2-0 since being recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League, with two of those wins coming against the Blues. ... Scheifele has a point in seven of the past eight games (four goals, eight assists). ... Hitchcock remains one win shy of Al Arbour (782) for third on the NHL list. ... Allen played 17:49 in relief against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, the Blues' last game before the All-Star break.

 

What's next

Jets: At the Dallas Stars on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, TSN3, NHL.TV)

Blues: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-MW, TSN4, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Scheifele, Wheeler each tally three points in 5-3 win

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