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Winnipeg Jets edge St. Louis Blues in shootout

By Rob Rains, The Sports Xchange   |   Feb. 10, 2016 at 2:10 AM
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ST. LOUIS -- Winnipeg center Mark Scheifele does not have a lot of experience in shootouts, but he knew exactly what to do when he got the chance Tuesday night.

Scheifele watched from the bench as the first three Jets' shooters tried and failed to score against St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott before he was sent onto the ice.

"I kind of saw what he (Elliott) was doing and picked my spot going in," Scheifele said.

The plan worked as Scheifele scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Jets a 2-1 win over the Blues, their first shootout win in three games this season.

It also was Scheifele's first career shootout goal after failing on his three previous attempts.

"I don't get out there too often so the biggest thing is I know what to do," he said. "I've done it a lot in juniors and obviously in practice too so you know what you can do and I was happy to do it."

Goalie Connor Hellebuyck was perfect in the shootout, stopping shots from center Alexander Steen, right winger Vladimir Tarasenko, center Jori Lehtera and right winger Troy Brouwer, to earn his first shootout victory.

"It's very nice," he said. "It only takes one to get used to it. I was mad after the last one because I thought I was pretty good at shootouts and to have one under my belt is kind of reassuring."

The Jets had been 0-3 against the Blues this season and have only one regulation win over St. Louis in 15 games since the franchise moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg in 2011.

The only two goals in regulation came within a 2:12 span early in the second period. The Jets scored just 15 seconds into the period when Elliott could not control a fluttering shot by defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and center Bryan Little was able to pounce on the rebound and knock it into the net for his 16th goal of the season.

Jets' defenseman Ben Chiarot was called for delay of game 30 seconds later, and with 18 second left in the penalty, Blues' defenseman Colton Parayko fired a slap shot past Hellebuyck at 2:27 to tie the game. It was Parayko's seventh goal of the year but his first since Dec. 19.

The Blues had only 22 shots on goal while Elliott saved 32 of 33 shots by the Jets, who improved to 4-0-1 in their last five road games.

"We've been searching for that time to get on a roll to get that good feeling," said Jets coach Paul Maurice. "You need a game like this to give you a chance."

With the Blues' only goal coming on the power play, it means they have now scored only three five-on-five goals in their last five games, and coach Ken Hitchcock is not happy about the lack of offense.

He had no trouble identifying the reason for that against the Jets.

"I don't think we competed in the offensive zone at all," Hitchcock said. "We didn't compete for the puck. It's pretty simple. We had lots of opportunities to do it. When you don't have the puck you can't score.

"There's a reason you score goals five on five. You have to work and compete when you have the puck. That's the reason we're just scoring one goal. It's up to us to fix it. You can talk about line combinations and chemistry but we've just got to compete at a lot higher level."

Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk also knows the Blues have to find a way to score more goals.

"We just need to find a way to create more offense," Shattenkirk said. "We've got to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to do that."

NOTES: The Jets played without their leading scorer, RW Drew Stafford, who was serving a one-game suspension for a high-sticking incident Saturday night against Colorado. ... D Robert Bortuzzo, a healthy scratch for the last seven games, was inserted into the Blues' lineup in place of injured D Alex Pietrangelo, expected to miss at least three weeks because of a knee injury. ... The injury to Pietrangelo means only C Alexander Steen, C Jori Lehtera, RW David Backes and RW Troy Brouwer have played in all 56 games this season. ... RW Ryan Reaves also was back in the Blues' lineup for the first time in five games. RW Dmitij Jaskin was a healthy scratch. ... The Jets host Boston on Thursday night while the Blues' next game is Friday night at Florida.

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