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[December 03, 2016]
The St. Louis Blues have earned
at least a point in their past 11 home games and look to extend that
streak Saturday when the Winnipeg Jets come to town. Forward
Vladimir Tarasenko recorded the third regular-season hat trick of
his career in Thursday’s 5-4 victory over Tampa Bay, finishing with
four points as St. Louis earned its third consecutive one-goal home
“He’s the best player I’ve ever played with, hands down,” St. Louis
defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk – who enjoyed a four-point night
himself – told reporters in describing Tarasenko, who has six goals
in his past four games. The Jets have fared as poorly on the road as
the Blues have at home, losing their past six away games, and play
seven of their next 11 on the road. Rookie Patrik Laine snapped a
six-game goal drought with a marker against New Jersey on Tuesday,
then added two more in Thursday’s 6-3 home defeat to Edmonton. The
outburst lifted Laine to second in the league in goals.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Winnipeg), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
ABOUT THE JETS (11-13-2): Winnipeg’s modest two-game winning streak
crashed Thursday thanks to in part to surrendering three power-play
goals, negating a 2-1 lead after one period. “If we take that many
penalties, we’re going to get burned,” Jets center Mark Scheifele,
who sits fourth in the NHL with 26 points, told reporters. The Jets
started goaltender Connor Hellebuyck for the 13th time in 15 games
Thursday before bringing on Michael Hutchinson in the third period,
and each figures to get a start this weekend as the Jets play Sunday
[to top of second column]
ABOUT THE BLUES (14-7-3): Shattenkirk recorded two goals and two
assists Thursday, ending a seven-game goal drought in helping St.
Louis improve to 11-1-2 at home. Tarasenko sits third in the NHL
with 27 points and tied with Scheifele and Boston’s David Pastrnak
for third in goals with 13. Goaltender Jake Allen has allowed seven
goals in his past two games, but is 8-0-0 in his past 10 starts.
1. Laine and Montreal D Shea Weber shared the NHL lead in power-play
goals with seven going into Friday's games.
2. The Blues are on their longest point streak at home since going
9-0-2 from Jan. 12-Feb. 19, 2012.
3. St. Louis won three of the four matchups with Winnipeg last
season, outscoring the Jets 11-7 in those victories.
PREDICTION: Blues 5, Jets 3
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