Saturday evening National Hockey League action and a pair of teams from the Central Division will duke it out as the Winnipeg Jets invade the Scottrade Center in St Louis, Missouri to take on the St Louis Blues. This is game one of a home-and-home series. The Jets enter this contest off a 5-1 home loss to the Blackhawks, while the Blues are off a 3-1 home loss to the Ducks. Goalie Probables: The Jets will be sending out Steve Mason and the Blues will counter with Carter Hutton.
Jets Get Scalped At Home By Blackhawks
The Winnipeg Jets had been playing very well, but they are now struggling as they have lost four of their last five games after falling to the Chicago Blackhawks at home by a score of 5-1. They fell down 3-0 just 10:21 into the game and were never able to recover from that. The offense was on fire, but they have now averaged just 2.80 gpg over their last five games. Scoring their lone goal in the loss to Chicago was Nikolaj Ehlers, which was his 15th of the year. They have been struggling at the other end of the ice as they have allowed 4.2 gpg over their last five games. The Jets have gone 7-10 on the road. Taking the loss against the Blackhawks was Connor Hellebuyck, who allowed five goals on 30 shot attempts to fall to 16-8 with a 2.54 GAA and a .917 save percentage on the year. Steve Mason will get the nod in this one and he has gone 2-5 with a 3.45 GAA and a .904 save percentage on the year overall, including 2-3 with a 2.55 GAA and a .929 save percentage on the road. in his career, he has gone 74-134 with a 2.91 GAA on the road and 104-147 with a 2.86 GAA against the Western Conference, while against the Blue he has gone 8-10 with a 2.61 GAA.
Winnipeg has been a very solid offensive team so far as they rank 4th in the league in scoring at 3.34 gpg, while also ranking 26th in shots taken (29.8 spg) and 3rd in power play conversions, converting on 26.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been a bit above average so far as they come in ranked 14th in goals allowed, giving up 2.87 gpg, while also ranking 21st in shots allowed (32.0 spg) and 20th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.0% of their chances.
Offense Struggles In Loss To The Ducks
The St Louis Blues had been rolling along and their offense had been clicking, but they have now scored just one goal in their last two games after losing 3-1 to the Ducks at home on Thursday night. The offense has just left the building for the Blues, but they could get it back in this one against a Jets team that has allowed 4.2 gpg over their last five games. Scoring their lone goal in the loss to the Ducks was Patrik Berglund, which was his 3rd of the year. The Blues have been a solid home team this year as they have gone 11-7 here at the Scottrade Center so far. St Louis is tied with the Preds for the top spot in the Central Division. Absorbing the loss against the Ducks was Jake Allen, who allowed three goals on just 18 shot attempts to fall to 17-10 with a 2.54 GAA and a .911 save percentage on the year. Carter Hutton will be in the crease for the Blues in this one and he has gone 4-2 with a 1.88 GAA and a .937 save percentage on the year overall, including 1-2 with a 2.10 GAA and a .920 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 19-16 with a 2.50 GAA in his home games and 23-34 with a 2.57 GAA against the Western Conference, while against the Jets he has gone 3-5 with a 2.46 GAA.
The Blues come into this contest ranked 8th in the league in scoring at 3.12 gpg, while also ranking 8th in shots taken (34.0 spg) and 26th in power play conversions, converting on 16.1% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very good as they come in ranked 4th in goals allowed, giving up 2.54 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots allowed (29.0 spg) and 19th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.0% of their chances.
- 2-5 in their last seven games following a home loss of three or more goals
- 0-5 their last five road games
St Louis is:
- 100-46 in their last 146 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- 35-16 in their last 51 when their opponent scores two goals or less in their previous game
Both of these teams are off of rather bad home losses, so both will be looking to get back on track in game one of this home and home series. The Blues have been a solid home team this year at 11-7 and Carter Hutton has been solid in the crease with a 1.88 GAA. Steve Mason gets the nod for the Jets and he has struggled this year, going just 2-5 with a 3.45 GAA on the year. The Jets have really played well in this series of late, but I see the Blues coming up with the effort needed to get a big win and bounce back from a tough loss at home to the Ducks.