Steen scores in last minute as Blues edge Jets

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- An Alexander leads the NHL in goal scoring, but not the one you expect.

Alexander Steen scored with 59.4 seconds left, giving him his NHL-best 11th goal and giving the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday at the Scottrade Center.

With the goal, Steen broke a tie with the other Alexander -- Ovechkin. The Blues left winger has 11 goals in 10 games, a 90-goal pace. It was his fifth consecutive game scoring a goal -- the best stint of his career. Last season, he had eight goals in a lockout shortened season.

Steen beat Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec with a backhand shot while the Blues were on a power play.

Steen has been understated through this stretch, reminding reporters that it's only a short span of games. On Tuesday, he deflected praise to defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who had the No. 1 assist, and to right winger T.J. Oshie, whose hard-driving effort drew the penalty.

"It was a great read by Bo and a great pass," Steen said. "Once I got it, I kind of figured I had a little bit of time. It was just nice to see it go in.

"Obviously, you've got to talk about Osh on that play, too. First to draw the penalty and then to get the puck stopped in their zone so we had a chance to get it back."

Still, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock and Blues players are running out of superlatives to describe Steen.

"He's just a good hockey player, a good hockey player," Hitchcock said. "He's smart. He knows how to play the game."

Indeed.

"He's been great all over the ice, not just scoring goals -- on the forecheck, on the backcheck in the D zone, making plays," Oshie said. "It's showing up on the scorecard, but it's everywhere on the ice where he's good. It's fun to play with a guy like that."

The win was the second in a row for the Blues. It also extended the Blues undefeated-in-regulation streak to five games at 3-0-2.

The Jets finished a busy month -- 14 games -- with a 1-2-1 record on a four-game trip.

"For the most part, I thought we did all right," Winnipeg right winger Bryan Little said. "We're in the game and we kind of found a way to blow it."

Alex Pietrangelo and Brenden Morrow also scored for the Blues. Blake Wheeler and Little scored for Winnipeg, which was one of five with the man-advantage.

"We gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game," Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said. "The frustrating part is we're finding ways to lose the game.

He described that as "really disheartening."

"We've got to find ways to repair these areas; they become different every night," Noel said.

Pietrangelo gave the Blues a 2-1 lead at 4:16 of the final period after some aggressive forechecking by Oshie. At one point, Oshie fell to the ice after taking the puck, then circled into the high slot. He pumped once to freeze the defense, then fed Pietrangelo for his second goal of the season.

Little tied it up with his seventh of the season on a short-handed, two-on-none rush with Andrew Ladd at 10:27. Ladd won the puck from Oshie along the left-wing boards, then fed Little streaking to the net in the right slot for the goal.

The Blues' fourth line popped in the game's first goal, with Morrow lighting the lamp at 6:36 of the first period. Morrow scored his second goal of the season by sending the puck into a virtually empty net from the left circle after a big rebound on Ryan Reaves' shot from the right wing. The assist was Reaves' first of the season.

St. Louis carried the play early, but the game took a decided turn at 9:50 when Derek Roy and Morrow were sent off for penalties -- Roy for interference and Morrow for roughing.

"That's what really turned the game," Hitchcock said. "We were playing great and everybody was in the game, but they got momentum. That changed the game completely around."

With the 5-on-3 advantage, Winnipeg got its first shots of the game and scored the tying goal to boot, with Wheeler scoring at 11:20. He stood at the left of the net for a gimme as Ladd's rebound popped up behind Jaroslav Halak and plopped into the crease. The goal was Wheeler's fourth of the season, the assist Ladd's sixth. Dustin Byfuglien also assisted for his team-high ninth helper of the season.

The teams played a scoreless second period, but the game got away from the Jets twice in the third -- on Pietrangelo's goal and Steen's power-play winner.

"We just found a way to lose again," Pavelec said, adding that it was "disappointing. It wasn't that bad a game. It just wasn't good enough."

NOTES: The Blues made one lineup change, inserting RW Adam Cracknell in place of injured LW Magnus Paajarvi, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Paajarvi was injured in the Blues' last game, a 6-1 victory Saturday at Nashville. Cracknell's only other appearance this season also was against the Jets on Oct. 18 at Winnipeg. ... Blues RW Chris Stewart played Tuesday despite suffering an upper-body injury Saturday in Nashville. ... Blues C Maxim Lapierre served the final game of a five-game suspension for hitting San Jose's Dan Boyle from behind Oct. 15. ... Winnipeg called up D Ben Chiarot from St. John's to replace injured D Paul Postma, who went on injured reserve with a blood clot in his leg. ... This was the final game of a four-game trip against Central Division opponents for Winnipeg, which also played at Nashville, Dallas and Colorado and was even at 1-1-1. ... The Jets won their only previous game vs. St. Louis, 4-3 in a shootout Oct. 18 in Winnipeg.
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