WINNIPEG — The St. Louis Blues can eliminate the Winnipeg Jets in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round at Enterprise Center on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS2, FS-MW), but to do so they will have to buck a trend.
The Blues, who lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 will try to become the first home team to win a game in the series.
“It’s bizarre,” said forward Brayden Schenn, who had one of the Blues’ three goals in the third period of their 3-2 victory in Game 5 in Winnipeg on Thursday. “You fight for home ice all year and this far in the playoffs, it hasn’t made a difference.
“We’re looking forward to getting in front of our fans on home ice. It’s been a tough series so far, lot of one-goal games, it’s been tight.”
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This series marks the fourth time in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs the road team has won each of the first five games of a best-of-7 series; it happened between the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings in the 1951 semifinals, the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers in the 1995 Eastern Conference Final and the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks in the 2004 Western Conference Final.
It appeared Winnipeg would break the trend in Game 5, leading 2-0 in the third period, but the Blues scored three times, the winner coming from Jaden Schwartz with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Blues have outscored the Jets 6-0 in the third period in the three games at Bell MTS Place, all one-goal victories, but say it means nothing heading home with a chance to move on.
“It doesn’t matter, one goal or whatever,” Blues forward David Perron said. “We know we can look them in the eye, give our best and make a comeback like we did. We know they’re going to be extremely hungry next game and we’re going to look to do the same thing.
“They’re a great team over there. They have some extremely skilled players and (Game 5) could have gone their way, too, even when it was 2-2. We’re not satisfied. We have to keep going.”
Though the Blues have been strong finishers in Winnipeg, the Jets did the same in St. Louis. They outscored the Blues 6-2 over the final two periods in a 6-3 victory in Game 3. The Jets trailed 1-0 in the third period of Game 4 but tied it on a Mark Scheifele goal at 7:33 of third and won on Kyle Connor‘s goal 6:02 into overtime.
Perron said the math and the mindset are simple for Game 6.
“One more game and no team has won at home so let’s try to change that,” he said. “We have to do it once. We have a chance to finish it off, so we have to do our best to do that.”