Stastny gets 500th assist as Jets beat Blues in final game before shutdown

WINNIPEG — Linemates Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele and Paul Stastny accounted for all the goals to propel the Jets to a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday and give interim Winnipeg head coach Dave Lowry his first win behind the bench.

Stastny scored twice and added an assist, Ehlers had a goal and three assists and Scheifele had a goal and assist for the Jets (14-11-5), who ended a three-game winless streak (1-2-1).

Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves for Winnipeg, the only Canadian team playing Sunday because of COVID-19 postponements for Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.

It was the second game behind the bench for Lowry, who took over for the rest of the season after Paul Maurice resigned Friday morning.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola scored for St. Louis (17-9-5), which had its seven-game point streak (5-1-2) halted.

Pavel Buchnevich and Ivan Barbashev each had a pair of assists, while Jordan Binnington stopped 30 shots for the Blues.

The game was the last for a while for Winnipeg and St. Louis, after the NHL announced Sunday afternoon teams can’t cross the border to play starting Monday through the beginning of the holiday break Dec. 23 because of rising COVID-19 cases. Games will be postponed and rescheduled.

Winnipeg’s Tuesday game in Nashville had already been postponed, but now a Dallas contest the next day follows suit.

St. Louis now won’t be playing in Ottawa on Tuesday or Toronto on Thursday.

The Jets and Blues were 0-0 after the first period of Sunday’s match, despite both teams having power-play time.

Winnipeg had a pair of power plays and St. Louis went on the man advantage with 1:07 left in the period.

The Jets were able to go on a shorthanded two-on-one rush, but Binnington stopped defenceman Brenden Dillon’s shot.

Winnipeg had an 11-8 edge on shots after the first.

St. Louis got one more shot on net during their power play, but it was the Jets who soon scored at 4:40.

Scheifele sent a backhand pass out to Ehlers in the slot, who beat Binnington stick side with his 12 of the season. Ehlers then scooped up the puck to give to Stastny, whose assist on the goal was the 500 of his career.

Barbashev set up tying goal, sending the puck across the front of the net so Tarasenko could redirect it past Hellebuyck at 13:47. Barbashev was playing in his 300 NHL game.

Scheifele regained Winnipeg’s lead with a shot from the high slot at 16:47 of the second.

Stastny made it 3-1 with a sharp-angled shot that went between Binnington and the post at 4:40 of the third.

Mikkola scored shorthanded at 14:28, but Stastny tallied his second of the game 16 seconds later.

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