Published January 13, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues will try to build off a strong performance in their last outing when they host the struggling Winnipeg Jets in Tuesday's clash at Scottrade Center.
The Blues ended a two-game slide and won for just the second time in five games by pounding the Nashville Predators 6-1 on Saturday. It was the second- best offensive output of the season for St. Louis, which beat the Florida Panthers by a 7-0 score on Oct. 5.
Alexander Steen scored a pair of goals to fuel the rout in Nashville. Steen already has 10 goals in nine games this season, giving him two more markers than he had in 40 games during last year's lockout-shortened campaign. He enters Tuesday tied with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals for the most goals in the NHL this season.
"He feels like he's fresh on the ice and when you're fresh, you're confident," Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said of Steen. "That's how he's feeling right now."
Jaden Schwartz, Alex Pietrangelo and T.J. Oshie each added a goal and an assist, while Derek Roy registered the other goal for the Blues, who have earned at least a point in four straight games, going 2-0-2 during that stretch.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 22-of-23 shots to backstop the victory. Halak is expected to get the start again on Tuesday and is 4-2-0 with a 3.31 goals against average in six career games against the Jets.
After hosting tonight's contest against Winnipeg, the Blues will play their next three games on the road. St. Louis is 4-1-1 as the host this season and 2-0-1 on the road.
The Jets have lost four of their last five games and fell to 1-1-1 on a four- game road trip after losing a 3-2 regulation decision Sunday at Colorado. Winnipeg led the contest by a 2-1 score after 40 minutes, but Jan Hejda and Paul Stastny scored third-period goals to lift the Avalanche to the home win.
Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little scored for the Jets. Al Montoya made 33 saves but allowed all three goals in the setback.
"He was great. He kept the score tight. We really didn't help him too much in the third period," Little said of Montoya.
The Blues had won three straight in the series against the Jets before losing a 4-3 shootout decision on Oct. 18 in Winnipeg. The Jets erased a two-goal deficit in the third period and Olli Jokinen scored the decisive shootout goal to cap the come-from-behind win.
Tuesday's contest will mark the first trip to St. Louis for the Jets since the franchise relocated from Atlanta prior to the 2011-12 season. The Blues were 4-1-1 in six all-time home tilts against the Atlanta Thrashers.