Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#167 Winnipeg Jets vs.
#168 St. Louis Blues
Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 7:05pm EDT
Enterprise Center, St Louis
Written by Valdis Pans

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Competing in the second outing of their current back-to-back stretch, the Winnipeg Jets (4th in Central Division) will try to improve their chances of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs while paying a visit to the St. Louis Blues (6th in Central), who are sitting 16 points outside the postseason contention.

Jets End Two-Game Skid

A two-game losing streak (0-2-0) came to an end for the Winnipeg Jets (39-28-3), who recovered from consecutive losses at the Carolina Hurricanes (5-3) and on their own ice against the Boston Bruins (3-0) with a 3-2 overtime triumph versus the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena earlier today. Nikolaj Ehlers (8 goals, 30 points this year) and Adam Lowry (9 goals, 29 points) scored in regulation for the Jets, who tied the game twice in the third period before Neal Pionk (9 goals, 27 points) buried the winner 55 seconds into the extra session. Winnipeg currently occupies the 2nd Wild Card spot of the Western Conference, five points ahead of the Preds, who have three games in hand.

Goalie Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 18 shots this afternoon to take his ongoing performance record to 30-21-2 for the season with a 2.61 GAA and a .918 save percentage. He has posted a 13-4-2 career total versus St. Louis with a 1.98 GAA and a .934 save percentage, while David Rittich (9-7-1 on the year with a 2.65 GAA and a .902 save percentage) is 2-1-1 against the Blues in past meetings with a 3.49 GAA and a .882 save percentage. The Jets, meanwhile, are 12th in least goals netted per game this season (3.06), 11th in least goals conceded on average (2.83), 21st in power play (20.6%) and 3rd best in penalty kill (83.3%).

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Blues Snap Two-Game Slide

The St. Louis Blues (30-33-5) cut their latest losing skid short at just two outings (0-2-0) after following up domestic defeats to the Vegas Golden Knights (5-3) and Minnesota Wild (8-5) with a 5-2 victory against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Friday. Sammy Blais (6 goals, 14 points this year) tallied twice for the Blues, who took a 4-0 lead throughout the first two periods before Brayden Schenn (18 goals, 51 points) rounded off the scoring with an empty-netter 1:39 from time after the Caps got two snipes back in the final third. After earning just four triumphs in its past 14 matchups (4-8-2), St. Louis trails the playoff bubble of the Western Conference by 16 points.

Goalie Joel Hofer (2-1-0 in his NHL career with a 2.71 GAA and a .905 save percentage), recalled from the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds because of Jordan Binnington’s two-game suspension, made 32 saves in his first league start of the season on Friday. The 22-year-old, a Winnipeg native himself, has never faced his local team, while Thomas Greiss (7-9-0 on the year with a 3.50 GAA and a .900 save percentage) is 6-4-1 against the Jets previously with a 2.36 GAA and a .917 save percentage. The Blues, meanwhile, are 15th in least goals scored per game in 2022-23 (3.12), 6th in most goals allowed on average (3.69), 16th in power play (20.9%) and 22nd in penalty kill (76.2%).

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Both teams have had similar fates lately. Both have gone 3-2-0 in their past five contests after losing two straight games following a victory prior, with St. Louis having posted four wins in its previous 14 games, while Winnipeg has won four of its most recent 13. Still, earlier success currently sees the Jets occupying the 2nd Wild Card spot of the Western Conference, a wholesome 16 points ahead of the Blues, who not only have been shocking while playing on own ice lately, managing to gather just a single victory on the past seven occasions, but have also dropped a whopping 10 of their last 11 matchups versus sides with a winning record. Winnipeg, meanwhile, has been a healthy and promising 13-3 on its most recent 16 trips to St. Louis.

Prediction: Winnipeg Jets (-125)

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Not too many goals have been buried between the two Western Conference opponents lately, with six of the previous eight head-to-head matchups between St. Louis and Winnipeg all going under the seven-snipe mark, averaging no more than 5.17 markers per clash. So, do expect another low-scoring bout between the two teams tomorrow! Five of the most recent eight domestic fixtures of the Blues have already delivered just a minimal quantity of strikes, as have eight of the last 11 games of the Jets played on the second night of a back-to-back stretch.

Prediction: Under 6.5

Written By Valdis Pans , "Valdis Pans"

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