The Winnipeg Jets hammered and hammered into the final minutes of Game Six Saturday night, but it was too little too late. They were ultimately bounced from the post-season courtesy the St. Louis Blues, who took home the series with a 3-2 victory.
The Blues received three goals from Jaden Schwartz in the home win, while Winnipeg took until 12:17 of the third period to start scoring. The first Jets goal came from Dustin Byfuglien, while Bryan Little made it interesting with under a minute to go and his team short-handed.
Schwartz’s hat trick was St. Louis’ first playoff hat trick since Vladimir Tarasenko did it in 2015 and his play definitely set the tone, putting the Jets back on their heels through most of the deciding contest.
Alas, the Blues were just that much better.
St. Louis outshot the Jets in Game Six 36-20, plus they played a more physical game and had the edge in the faceoff circle. The Blues were also more disciplined, with Winnipeg taking three of four penalties in the game – including an inconvenient four-minute call for high-sticking with just over two minutes to go in the game.
Defensively, St. Louis was as advertised. They outshot the Jets 16-1 in the middle frame, setting a franchise playoff record for fewest shots allowed in a period.
The Blues used their power play well, scoring on one of four chances, and goalie Jordan Binnington was again stellar despite facing just 20 shots. Cool under pressure, the St. Louis netminder has been the story of the series as he outdueled Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck when and where it mattered most.
Saturday’s win marked the first time St. Louis has won a Game Six since April of 2001. They’d lost their past eight Game Six situations, so this victory certainly came at an opportune time. And considering that the Blues were last place overall at the start of 2019, their turnaround and subsequent first round victory has to feel pretty sweet.
As for the Jets, this will be yet another learning experience in a long line of them. Winnipeg is the second Canadian team to be bounced from the post-season, with Calgary losing to the Avalanche in Game Five on Friday.
(Photo credit: Tim Spyers/Icon Sportswire)