The St. Louis Blues are making the most out of their trip to Canada.
The Blues used two goals from Vladimir Tarasenko to take down the host Jets 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at MTS Centre for their fourth straight victory since crossing the border to the North.
“We’ve been able to kind of just put everything into perspective, especially on a long road trip like this, it’s just one game at a time and try to play that road hockey, that gutsy hockey that wins games,” goalie Brian Elliott told reporters.
After opening their season-long six-game road trip with a 3-2 loss in Minnesota, the Blues (5-1-0, 10 points) headed to Canada and beat the Flames, Oilers, Canucks and now the Jets.
Up next for the Western Conference leader is a showdown with the undefeated Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Canadiens (6-0-0, 12 points) on Tuesday.
“It’s a tough road trip, too,” Tarasenko told reporters. “We have one more game with an unbeaten team. We had three games in like 72 hours, so we have time to rest right now and try to be ready for last game and go home after.”
Tarasenko scored twice on Sunday, his fourth and fifth of the season, moving him into a four-way tie with Jamie Benn, Zach Parise and Tomas Plekanec for the most goals in the NHL. His nine points, in six games, are tied with David Krejci and Henrik Zetterberg for the league’s most.
Since the start of last season, Tarasenko has 42 goals and 82 points in 83 regular season games. If you include the playoffs, he has 48 goals and 90 points in 89 total games.
“He’s dangerous in the offensive zone,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters. “Playing against him, I’d be really nervous. He doesn’t miss. If you give him a chance from the top of the circle he’s not going to miss.”
The Blues also goals from Scottie Upshall and Carl Gunnarsson on Sunday, along with two assists from Dmitrij Jaskin. Rookie defenseman Joel Edmundson assisted on Upshall’s goal for his first NHL point.
Elliott stopped 27 of 29 shots to improve to 4-0 this season.
“It was a good, old-fashioned street fight, a lot of fun and we won the street fight,” Hitchcock said.
The teams were tied, 2-2, after two periods on Sunday before Tarasenko put the Blues ahead at the 9:50 mark of the third period, assisted by Scott Gomez and Gunnarsson.
Hitchcock said he saw the team coming together late in the loss to the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 10, the first game of the six-game road trip.
“I think you saw this in the second and third period in Game 2 in Minnesota,” Hitchcock told reporters. “I think that’s where we started to become a team. We’re still building it, but we made great strides in the second and third. We didn’t win the game, but we really pushed back hard and I think we built some confidence that we can play with anybody. We’ve sustained very significant injuries here already and yet we still keep finding ways to score goals, which I think is a good sign.”