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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 17th (All times Eastern)
Winnipeg Jets (31-29-9) at St. Louis Blues (46-14-7), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets got over one hurdle by snapping their longest losing streak of the season. The bar gets raised a bit on Monday night as they visit the NHL-leading St. Louis Blues.
Winnipeg had gone 0-3-3 prior to last night's 7-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. The win was much needed for the Jets, who moved to within four points of the Stars and Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Winnipeg scored six straight goals after falling behind 2-1 in the first period and four Jets skaters recorded at least three points. Dustin Byfuglien had two goals and an assist, while Blake Wheeler finished with four helpers.
Byfuglien has six goals and two assists over his last five games, while Wheeler now leads the Jets with 56 points.
Tobias Enstrom and Olli Jokinen both added a goal and two assists, while Jacob Trouba, Michael Frolik and Evander Kane all lit the lamp.
Al Montoya, who came in when Ondrej Pavelec was hurt Friday against the New York Rangers, made 25 saves and didn't need nearly that many behind Winnipeg's offensive barrage.
"These guys battled for me," said Montoya, who picked up his first victory since Feb. 2. "This is what they pay me for. I've been waiting for this chance."
Pavelec is out with a lower-body injury, joined on the sidelines by Chris Thorburn, Jim Slater and John Albert.
Montoya may get the start again on Monday and is 1-1-1 with a 3.22 goals against average in his career versus the Blues.
St. Louis leads the NHL with 99 points, putting it six ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Central Division. The Blues have won seven of their last eight, including Saturday's 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators.
Patrik Berglund scored twice, while Alexander Steen netted his career-high 30th goal and Vladimir Tarasenko scored. Ryan Miller ended with 30 saves.
Berglund has 14 goals and 31 points on the season, including six tallies over his last eight games.
"I'm playing the same way," said Berglund. "I've been shooting the puck. It's finding its way in, so it's obviously nice."
While Berglund is heating up, Tarasenko is out for at least the next six weeks due to a hand injury suffered versus the Preds. The 22-year-old, who has 21 goals and 22 assists on the season, is slated for hand surgery on Wednesday.
Miller is 6-0-1 with a 1.70 GAA and .932 save percentage since being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres. He is 13-6-5 with a 2.66 GAA and .909 save percentage in 26 career meetings with the Jets franchise.
The Blues have won three straight over the Jets since losing the first meeting of the season between the clubs in a shootout on Oct. 18. They have claimed six of the previous seven encounters overall as well as three in a row and six of eight at home in the series.
03/17 10:40:28 ET
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