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Blues aim to get back on track in Winnipeg
(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues try to get themselves right on Tuesday when they visit the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.
St. Louis suffered a rare home loss on Sunday, as it fell behind early in a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Scottrade Center. Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund tallied for the Blues, who have dropped three of four.
Jaroslav Halak was pulled after giving up three goals on eight shots in 7 1/2 minutes of action. Brian Elliott finished the contest with 13 stops and may find himself between the pipes on Tuesday.
"I need to look at myself and everybody else needs to probably find the answers," Halak said.
Over the past four games St. Louis, which dropped to 12-2-2 at home on the year, has been outscored 9-1 in the first period, 9-0 in the three losses.
"I think it's the same for every game," head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "When you don't have a mindset of checking, then that affects your competitive level, races for pucks, puck battles, 50-50 pucks. When your mindset is something other than checking to start with, that affects everything. It's been the same. We went through this last year, and it was, what, a month we went through this where we had to change our attitude towards what was important.
"We'll score lots if we check better. We'll get way more offensive-zone time. We're just chasing the game. We're chasing the game because we're not starting with the puck, we're not keeping the puck, we're not determined when we're being checked, and we're not determined when we're checking, so you play slow. We look slow and then we speed up as the game goes on. We got more competitive as the game went on, but we're allowing the other team to dictate the checking tempo and it affects every part of our game."
St. Louis, though, has still scored two or more goals on home ice in 22 straight games dating to last season. Now, the Blues head to Winnipeg to take on a Jets team that has played well of late.
On Saturday, Winnipeg won for the second time in three games, as Mark Scheifele scored 1:04 into overtime to give the Jets a 2-1 decision over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Blake Wheeler had the Jets' regulation goal before later setting up Scheifele's game-winner to help Winnipeg complete a successful six-game road trip with a 4-2-0 record.
"3-3 would not have felt very good," Jets head coach Claude Noel said. "4-2 is a lot more comforting for us. It would have been disappointing to go home 3-3."
Al Montoya did his part between the pipes for Winnipeg, turning aside 28-of-29 shots in the triumph.
"I thought Montoya played really strong," Noel said. "He battled back hard."
Winnipeg, though, has lost three in a row on home ice and will be trying to avoid their first four-game losing streak at MTS Centre since Feb.7-17 of last season.
The Blues are 4-0-1 in the last five matchups with the Jets and won 3-2 in the most recent one Oct. 29.
12/10 11:38:37 ET