WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The St. Louis Blues gave Barret Jackman and Brenden Morrow a night of rest Friday, in part because the veterans are nursing upper-body injuries, but perhaps also because they wanted a speedier lineup against the high-flying Winnipeg Jets.
The Blues needed more speed than they had on their roster. They had a two-goal cushion with under 10 minutes left to play, but Winnipeg wouldn't go away and tied the score on a goal by Tobias Enstrom with 1 minute, 54 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Blues went to a shootout for the second straight night, but unlike the night before in Chicago, they came up short. In the seventh round, the Jets' Olli Jokinen beat goaltender Brian Elliott, and seconds later, goalie Ondrej Pavelec stopped Chris Stewart for a 4-3 shootout victory at MTS Center.
The Blues fell to 5-1-1 and will be off until next Friday, when they host Vancouver at Scottrade Center. The team, however, is not returning home; instead, the players are traveling to Charleston, S.C., for a four-day team-bonding trip.
The trip will start with a bitter taste.
The Blues led 3-1 with 16:26 remaining in regulation, but Winnipeg picked up a goal by Evander Kane with 6:47 left in regulation.
A shot by Kane from the top of the circle was deflected in, perhaps by Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and pulled the Jets to within 3-2.
Then, Enstrom knotted the game 3-3 with under two minutes to play. His blast got through Elliott, bringing on chants of the goalie's name as the game sailed into overtime.
The Blues had trouble keeping pace with the Jets, despite commanding parts of the game and taking a 3-1 lead on two goals by Winnipeg native Alexander Steen and one from David Backes.
The Blues' line of Steen, Backes and T.J. Oshie, along with defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo, had become downright stingy with the puck playing 5 on 5. They circled the perimeter before finally choosing a spot, as Backes fired a shot on net, and when the rebound sat still, Steen's stick seemed to be on a loaded spring the way it put the puck into the back of the Jets' net for a 2-1 lead.
The game had been stuck there since late in the first period, when Steen scored his first goal of the game. The Jets' Jacob Trouba whiffed on a pass to his defensive partner and Steen took advantage, wheeling around the defender and beating Pavelec with 1:46 left in the first period.
The first period had the feel of the "Ellen" show, with all of the giveaways. The Blues and Jets gift-wrapped all three goals in the period, with the visitors on the receiving end of two of the tallies.
The Blues' first goal came via a turnover, when Winnipeg's Grant Clitsome blew a tire and lost the puck to Oshie. He gathered it up and sent a laser pass in front to Backes for a wide-open look.
Backes beat Pavelec easily for his sixth goal in the first seven games of the season, matching his output in 48 games in 2012-13. His sixth goal this year came on only his ninth shot of the season, giving him a whopping 66.7 shooting percentage.
The Jets picked up their first-period goal by Jokinen, after a turnover by Kevin Shattenkirk led to a chance at the other end. Elliott blocked the initial shot, but Jokinen fought for the rebound and sent a knuckleball past Elliott's glove for a 1-1 score with 4:30 left the first period.
If Backes' teammates were only as accurate, or lucky, the Blues might have held a lead larger than 2-1 after 20 minutes.
Along with their 11 shots on goal in the period, the Blues had another four hit the post. Vladimir Tarasenko, Pietrangelo, Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund each were denied by iron.
The Blues' goals came from Backes and Steen, who now have six and seven goals, respectively. They have scored in the same game in five of the team's seven games. But their offense wasn't enough to support Elliott, who stopped 26 of 29 shots in his first start of the season.
Winnipeg played the third period with only four defensemen, as Trouba left in the first period after a nasty collision into the boards and Mark Stuart headed to the locker room after spilling into the post early in the third.
Trouba left the game on a stretcher with 1:46 to play in the first period, after crashing face-first into the end-boards. Trouba, perhaps the club's best defenseman, attempted to put a body on Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold, but when Leopold slipped away, Trouba went into the boards.
After 10 minutes, the rookie was taken off the ice on a stretcher, the third such instance this week in the NHL in which a player has been removed in that manner, two involving the Blues. San Jose's Dan Boyle was carried off last Tuesday in St. Louis and Chicago's Niklas Kronwall also left on a stretcher Thursday night.
The Jets, though, rallied and while the Blues gained one point, it cost them a victory.
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