Pavelec's 2nd straight shutout lifts Jets past Blues 1-0
ST. LOUIS (AP) Just like the night before, Ondrej Pavelec was a puck magnet. The Winnipeg Jets' goalie got a bit of an assist from one of his defensemen, too.
Pavelec stopped 30 shots for his second consecutive shutout and the Jets strengthened their bid for a Western Conference playoff spot with a 1-0 victory over the Central-leading Blues on Tuesday night.
''He's been unbelievable,'' defenseman Tyler Myers said. ''You can tell he's playing with a lot of confidence.''
Paul Stastny had an apparent tying goal in the second period waved off and was shocked to get a slashing call instead for slapping the stick out of Myers' hands just before putting a backhander past Pavelec. Stastny said he'd simply been ''battling'' for position on a 2-on-1 break, and Myers didn't appear to have much of a grip.
''Yeah, I thought nothing of it,'' Stastny said. ''If it was a 50-50, where I felt a little guilty, yeah I would have thought about it. But no, I didn't, no.''
Myers said it was the right call.
''I think it was pretty clear he just slashed my stick out of my hand,'' Myers said. ''I don't think there's much to argue there if you look at the full replay.''
The Blues held their one-point lead in the Central. Second-place Nashville and Chicago, three points back, both also lost.
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.
''We know we can do It,'' Ondrej said. ''In the third period the puck was just missing the net. You needed luck to get a shutout.''
Coach Paul Maurice said playing on consecutive nights was rough on the Jets' legs.
''There was a cost to it, and you could see it at times, but not in terms of effort,'' Maurice said. ''Our goaltending was really good and everybody on the bench had a piece of the game, and the game-winning goal comes from the line that played the least but had the biggest impact.''
Thorburn played just 6:31, second-fewest on the Jets.
Jake Allen made 30 saves for the Blues, again missing top scorers Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen. Both are skating and expected back for the playoffs.
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.
''It seems like we're getting a little bit of a rivalry,'' Blues forward T.J. Oshie said. ''They did a good job pushing back when we had momentum and we have to find ways to score.''
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 Oshie, whose check made contact with Mark Stuart's head at 16:41.
''I got no comments about the refs,'' Oshie said. ''We can talk about something else.''
NOTES: Jets F Dustin Byfuglien served the third game of a four-game suspension for cross-checking Rangers center 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.