ST. LOUIS — Ondrej Pavelec stopped 30 shots for his second consecutive shutout and the Winnipeg Jets strengthened their bid for a Western Conference playoff spot with a 1-0 victory over the Central-leading St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
Chris Thorburn gave the Jets the game’s first goal for the fourth straight game and eighth out of nine, and Pavelec made it stand up one night after making 31 saves in a 2-0 victory at Minnesota. Pavelec has four shutouts overall.
The Jets, who have won three straight, are battling Los Angeles and Calgary for the final two playoff spots in the West.
Jake Allen made 30 saves for the Blues, who had won three straight and entered with a one-point lead in the Central over Nashville. St. Louis was without injured scorers Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen for the fourth straight game, but both are expected back for the playoffs.
Paul Stastny had an apparent tying goal in the second period waved off and got a slashing call instead for slapping the stick out of defenceman Tyler Myers’ hands just before putting a backhander past Pavelec.
Allen kept it close when he stopped Blake Wheeler on a breakaway with just over 2 minutes remaining.
St. Louis finishes at home against the Blackhawks on Thursday night and Minnesota on Saturday. Winnipeg, fighting Los Angeles and Calgary for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference, is at Colorado Thursday before finishing at home against the Flames on Saturday.
The Blues won the season series 3-1-1, all but one of the games decided by one goal.
Thorburn’s seventh goal of the season, and first since Feb. 14, came just 7 seconds after Winnipeg forward Mathieu Perrault was briefly knocked out of the game after getting cross-checked to the back of the head by Ryan Reaves.
The Jets were unable to capitalize on a double-minor call on T.J. Oshie, whose check made contact with Mark Stuart’s head at 16:41.
NOTES: Jets F Dustin Byfuglien served the third game of a four-game suspension for cross-checking Rangers centre JT Miller to the neck. … Pavelec has started 11 of Winnipeg’s last 12 games, going 9-2. … Blues F Olli Jokinen played against the Jets for the fifth time this season with three different teams. … Standing room attendance of 19,616 was the Blues’ 22nd sellout.
R.B. Fallstrom, The Associated Press
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