The St. Louis Blues will put an 11-game home point streak on the line Thursday night when they finish their regular-season series with the Winnipeg Jets.
The defending Stanley Cup champions have claimed 21 of a possible 22 points in their last 11 games (10-0-1) at Enterprise Center and are 18-4-4 there this season. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins (19) have more wins on their home ice.
The Blues enter Wednesday leading the Central Division by seven points over Dallas and also top the Western Conference with 72 points in the battle for home ice in the playoffs. St. Louis also entered Wednesday’s action just five points behind the Washington Capitals in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy.
The Blues bounced back from an ugly 1-4-0 road trip with a 6-3 victory over Carolina on Tuesday night to kick off a three-game homestand that ends with a Saturday night Central showdown with Dallas.
Brayden Schenn had two goals and an assist and Zach Sanford added two goals for the Blues, who bolted out to a 5-1 lead after two periods.
“It (was) important,” said Blues head coach Craig Berube of starting the homestand with a victory. “First game home after a long road trip is tough sometimes. I liked our energy right away. I thought we were on top of it right away, so it was a good sign.”
Sammy Blais, playing just his fourth game after missing 28 contests with a wrist injury, started the scoring with his first goal since Nov. 2 at the 2:44 mark of the first period, and the Blues then blew the game open with four second-period goals.
“I just think maybe we play with more urgency and maybe more energy (at home),” Blais said. “I think our crowd all the time is with us (which) is pretty good. … We’ll take this win and focus on the next game.”
It was the 19th career three-point game for Schenn. St. Louis has outscored its opponents, 45-22, during its 11-game home point streak.
“We played pretty solid from start to finish,” said Schenn. “Tonight, obviously a big goal by (Blais) to get us going. We seem to do pretty well when we get the first one and he was able to get an early one for us. Everyone chipped in tonight. It was nice to get two points.”
Winnipeg comes in off a 2-1 overtime loss to visiting Nashville on Tuesday night and is just 1-5-1 in its past seven games. However, that one win was over the Blues, 5-2, on Saturday with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck finishing with 38 saves and Jack Roslovic scoring two goals to go along with an assist.
“It was a grind,” forward Blake Wheeler told NHL.com following the loss to the Predators. “They did a good job of blocking shots. We didn’t get anything through. We probably didn’t have as much traffic in front of the net as we could have. Just didn’t capitalize.”
This is the fourth and final regular-season meeting between the two teams. St. Louis won the first two, 5-4 in overtime in Winnipeg and 4-1 at home two nights later in late December. The Jets, currently tied for fourth place in the Central with Nashville and Chicago with 57 points.
–Field Level Media