Hellebuyck makes 35 saves to lead Jets over Blues 4-2

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Connor Hellebuyck wasn’t in the mood to celebrate just yet.

The Winnipeg goalie stopped 35 shots to help the Jets beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 Thursday night — his second win over the defending Stanley Cup champions in five days.

“It’s nice and I feel great about my game,” Hellebuyck said. “But, we’ve got to keep climbing to get that playoff spot.”

Andrew Copp broke a third period tie to give the Jets the win in their lone road contest during a current 11-game stretch.

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Patrik Laine, Jansen Harkins and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg, which moved to within 13 points of the first-place Blues in the Central Division.

Colton Parayko and Carl Gunnarsson scored for St. Louis, which had recorded a point in its previous 11 home games. Jordan Binnington stopped 21 shots for the Western Conference leaders.

Hellebuyck stopped 38 of 40 shots in a 5-2 win over St. Louis on Saturday in Winnipeg.

He was equally impressive in the rematch and improved to 23-16-5.

“Your goalie is going to have to be the deciding factor,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “And he may well have been the deciding factor for us.”

Explained Winnipeg defenseman Nathan Beaulieu: “He’s obviously been playing really great. You get 30, 40 shots and he’s turning them away, no problem.”

St. Louis coach Craig Berube has seen enough of Hellebuyck for the time being.

“We haven’t solved him good enough the last two games,” Berube said.

Hellebuyck has stopped 73 of 77 shots in the two games against St., Louis.

Copp pounced on the rebound of a shot by Harkins to break a 2-2 tie with 10:56 left in the third period. He also had the winning tally in Saturday’s victor over St. Louis.

“You look at the standings, this is a very good team we’re trying to catch,” Copp said. “It’s just so log-jammed where we’re at that ever point matters. I think we’re playing pretty good hockey right now.”

Binnington, who fell to 24-10-5, took the blame for Coop’s goal.

“The initial thought is, ‘Control your rebound,’” Binnington said. “I’ve got to be there.”

Laine scored his 20th of the season off a cross-ice pass from Mark Scheifele at 5:58 of the second period for a 2-0 lead. Laine has scored at least 20 goals in each of his first four seasons.

Ehlers added an empty-net goal with 10 seconds left.

St. Louis scored twice in a span of a 2:20 in the second period. Gunnarsson blasted a shot from just inside the blue line past Hellebuyck to tie it.

NOTES: The Blues announced that their American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio has been purchased by the Vegas Golden Knights. The Rampage will finish the season in San Antonio and then move to Las Vegas. The Blues will begin an immediate search for a new minor league affiliate. Chicago, which was a Blues affiliate in the AHL from 2013-2017, is an option. … St. Louis LW Alexander Steen was given a silver stick before the game to honor his 1,000th game in the NHL on Feb. 1. … “Touching, emotional,” Steen said. Jets LW Gabriel Bourque played in his 400th career game. Coach Paul Maurice coached his 500th game as Jets coach. … The Blues have come up empty in their last 20 5-on-3 power play advantages covering 23:33. They failed to score on a 48-second two-man advantage in the first period. … Winnipeg D Luca Sbisa block a shot on the knee in second period and did not return.

UP NEXT

Jets: Will host Ottawa on Saturday in the first of a four-game homestand.

Blues: Hosts Dallas on Saturday.

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