The St. Louis Blues stormed out to a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets, but that lead didn’t last long. Winnipeg won Games 3 and 4 to even up the series at two wins apiece. All four games have been won by the visiting team, and the Blues hope that trend continues in a pivotal Game 5 on Thursday night in Canada.
St. Louis won a pair of close games in Winnipeg to even the series but was unable to keep the momentum going in front of its home crowd. The Jets came into St. Louis and beat the Blues by a score of 6-3 in Game 3, and then 2-1 in overtime in Game 4.
Winnipeg is a much better offensive team than the Blues, but St. Louis has been shutting down opponents all season long. The Winnipeg Jets are -125 over the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of this series.
Blues Must Find Some Offense
The St. Louis Blues averaged right at three goals per game during the regular season, but that is just right at the league average. St. Louis is not a very high-powered offense, and that has been the case so far in this series. The Blues have three different players who have scored two goals so far, but Vladimir Tarasenko needs to provide some more scoring. Tarasenko has yet to record an assist, and two goals in four games just isn’t enough. Look for the Blues to take more chances on offense in Game 5 of the series.
Rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington has started all four games of these playoffs for the Blues and has performed pretty well. Binnington has stopped over 90 percent of the shots he has faced but has had a few lapses along the way. The Blues were a top-10 penalty kill team during the regular season, and their defense gives Binnington plenty of help. St. Louis has their hands full with the Jets in this series.
Winnipeg Has Plenty of Weapons
While St. Louis lacks a ton of offensive weapons, the Winnipeg Jets don’t have that problem at all. The Jets have four different players who have registered at least five points so far in this series, and Kyle Connor and Patrick Laine have each scored three goals.
Winnipeg averaged 3.3 goals per game during the regular season, and they converted on 25 percent of their power-play chances. The Jets managed just two goals in the game four victory, but their offense is the reason that this series is tied up.
Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck burst onto the scene in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, and he has been terrific again this postseason. Hellebuyck has stopped 92 percent of the shots that he has faced and was terrific in the Game 4 victory.
The Jets gave up close to three goals per game during the regular season, and they will sacrifice some defense for a chance to score a goal. Winnipeg is fortunate that the Blues don’t have the type of team to burn them.
Jets Win Third Straight Game
St. Louis looked like they had complete control of this series just a few days ago, but they are in serious trouble now. Winnipeg will have a ton of momentum heading into Game 5, and their home fans will be rocking.
Even though the Blues have already won on the road twice in this series, it will be the Jets winning Game 5 and taking a series lead. Bet the Winnipeg Jets -125 over the St. Louis Blues.
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