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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, October 18th (All times Eastern)
St. Louis Blues (5-1-0) at Winnipeg Jets (3-4-0), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A new resident in the Western Conference, the Winnipeg Jets will get a look at one of the best the circuit has to offer on Friday night when they resume their homestand against the St. Louis Blues.
After relocating from Atlanta to Winnipeg ahead of the 2011-12 campaign, the Jets found themselves switching conferences under realignment prior to the start of this season. They are 2-3-0 against teams from their new conference this season, including a 5-3 home win over Los Angeles back on Oct. 4.
Winnipeg, though, has lost four of five since and plays the fourth contest of a six-game homestand tonight looking to avoid a fourth straight setback to St. Louis. The clubs last met on Feb. 25, 2012, with the Blues picking up a 3-2 shootout win in their first trip to Winnipeg since the Jets relocated.
The Jets are 1-2-0 on their longest residency of the season, following up a 3-0 win over New Jersey on Sunday with a 3-0 setback at the hands of Montreal two nights later.
Ondrej Pavelec made 22 saves in the setback for Winnipeg, which has been held to a pair of goals or fewer in each of their four losses.
"This one was a tough game, a game certainly we didn't have much control over," Jets head coach Claude Noel said. "Right off the start, they were in our zone, pretty much from the faceoff on. We chased the puck in our zone."
Things didn't get better for Noel's club on Wednesday, when forward Evander Kane suffered a lower-body injury during practice and had to be helped off the ice. Noel did say the injury is not considered severe, leaving Kane day-to- day.
The 22-year-old forward is tied for the club lead with three goals and tops the Jets with 30 hits and 34 shots.
Winnipeg did recall 23-year-old center Patrice Cormier from the American Hockey League on Wednesday night. He has two points in 40 career NHL games after being selected in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Devils, who traded him to the then-Thrashers on Feb. 4, 2010 in a package that netted them Ilya Kovalchuk.
After winning the first four games of their season-opening homestand, the Blues lost a 6-2 decision to the visiting San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, but rebounded with a 3-2 victory over hosting Chicago last night.
T.J. Oshie had the only goal of the shootout and Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves through overtime before stopping all three shots he faced in the tiebreaker as the Blues bested the Blackhawks for the second time already this season.
"It's huge," Oshie said of beating the Blackhawks. "I think we played a good team game. We had a couple breakdowns, but I think for the full 65 minutes and into the shootout, I think as a team we played pretty solid."
Oshie assisted on a goal by Alex Steen for his 200th career point, while David Backes scored a goal in his 500th career game. Jay Bouwmeester added a pair of assists in St. Louis' first road game of the season.
Halak has started all six games for the Blues this season, posting a 2.26 goals against average and .919 save percentage. However, Brian Elliott is expected to get his first start of the campaign tonight.
Elliott, whose only appearance this season was a relief stint versus the Sharks in which he allowed two goals on 13 shots, is 4-2-1 with a 3.31 GAA and .886 save percentage in eight career meetings with the Jets franchise.
Pavelec is 1-1-1 with a 2.61 GAA and .929 save percentage in three games versus the Blues.
10/18 10:47:45 ET