Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
Winnipeg at St. Louis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, February 23, 2018
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri

After ending their season-high 10-game homestand on a down note, the Winnipeg Jets will try to rebound when they open a two-game road trip at the slumping St. Louis Blues on Friday night. The Jets had their three-game winning streak halted in a 4-3 loss to Los Angeles but they have opened ground in the Central Division on the Blues, losers of four in a row.

St. Louis has scored a total of seven goals during the four-game skid to drop into fourth place in the division, seven points behind the second-place Jets. "Desperation time was a while ago," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "We can't accept the fact that we're playing good and not winning hockey games. We need points. We need wins and we need to start doing it now." Winnipeg is trying to keep pace with Central-leading Nashville after going 6-3-1 on the homestand, but the schedule gets decidedly tougher with eight of the next 10 games on the road. The Jets swept all five matchups between the clubs in 2016-17, but the Blues have won two of three this season, including a 5-2 victory at Winnipeg two weeks ago.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TSN3 (Winnipeg), FS Midwest (St. Louis)

ABOUT THE JETS (35-16-9): Winnipeg's special teams have been a mixed bag of late -- the team pumped in five power-play goals over the past three games but surrendered two tallies while short-handed in each of the last two contests. "Penalty kill is kind of leaking oil right now," captain Blake Wheeler said. "Just kind of wrong penalties at the wrong time." Wheeler is on a tear with three goals and eight assists during a six-game point streak and has piled up 15 points in 10 games since the All-Star break.

ABOUT THE BLUES (34-23-9): Vladimir Tarasenko ended a power-play drought of more than two months when he converted against San Jose on Tuesday night, his first tally with the extra skater since Dec. 16 in a 2-0 win over the Jets. Tarasenko, who is tied for the team lead with 24 goals, also scored twice in the 5-2 victory at Winnipeg on Feb. 9. St. Louis placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (knee) on injured reserve Thursday and also will be without forward Sammy Blais, who exited Tuesday's game with concussion symptoms.

OVERTIME

1. Jets F Patrik Laine has 27 goals, including an NHL-best 16 on the power play through Wednesday's games.

2. Blues C Vladimir Sobotka returned to practice Thursday after missing a game due to illness.

3. Wheeler needs one assist to eclipse his previous career high of 52.

PREDICTION: Blues 3, Jets 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Winnipeg 35-16-7-2 L1 23-6-2-0 12-10-5-2 6-2-0-0 29-14-7-2 9-6-2-0
St. Louis 34-23-4-0 L4 19-13-0-0 15-10-4-0 2-3-2-0 32-20-2-0 9-6-2-0
Last Meeting
Winnipeg St. Louis
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
2/9/18 STL 5 WIN 2 22 22 1-4 27 20 0-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Winnipeg K. Connor 2
St. Louis J. Schwartz 2
Goals Player  
Winnipeg K. Connor 1
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 2
Assists Player  
Winnipeg K. Connor 1
St. Louis R. Bortuzzo 1
Saves Player  
Winnipeg C. Hellebuyck 22
St. Louis J. Allen 20
Season
Total Points Player  
Winnipeg B. Wheeler 72
St. Louis B. Schenn 58
Goals Player  
Winnipeg P. Laine 33
St. Louis V. Tarasenko 27
Assists Player  
Winnipeg B. Wheeler 55
St. Louis B. Schenn 33
Saves Player  
Winnipeg C. Hellebuyck 1446
St. Louis J. Allen 1130
Quickchart Matchup
Winnipeg Off vs  St. Louis Def
3.28 GF
2.56 GA
32 Shots
29.9 Shots
51 PP
33 PK
St. Louis Off vs  Winnipeg Def
2.79 GF
2.65 GA
33.2 Shots
31.2 Shots
32 PP
37 PK