Blues’ goaltending duo combine efforts for shutout victory over Jets

Kasperi Kapanen, Nathan Walker and Jakub Vrana each scored to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.

Rookie goalie and Winnipeg native Joel Hofer started in his first home appearance with St. Louis and stopped 33 shots in his fourth NHL start to help the Blues win for the fourth time in six games.

“”There’s obviously a little more motivation there, but I though the team played really well in front of me,” Hofer said about playing the Jets.

“Obviously limited them to a lot of outside chances and it was nice to get the win, especially against those guys.”

He didn’t get the shutout because he had to leave the ice for a skate repair in the second period. Thomas Greiss had a save while filling in.

“It’s alright. I don’t really care about that,” Hofer said about the shutout. “I’m just obviously happy to be here and to get the win in front of the home crowd, it was great.”

WATCH l Vrana secures Blues’ victory over Jets:

Blues’ Vrana scores on breakaway to seal shutout win over Jets

2 hours ago

Duration 0:54

St. Louis blanks Winnipeg 3-0. Kasperi Kapanen records the game’s opening goal and assists on Jakub Vrana’s breakaway tally.

Hofer started in place of the suspended Jordan Binnington on Friday and had 33 saves in a 5-2 win against Washington — his first NHL game since Nov. 13, 2021. Hofer, called up from Springfield of the AHL under emergency conditions Thursday after Binnington was suspended, is now 3-1-0 in the NHL.

“He’s not going down, but it’s great to see him play well,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “It’s great to see him get a shutout tonight. Good job by the team in front of him. He’s doing a good job and he’s playing well, so he knows he can do the job.”

Connor Hellebuyck, starting for the second straight day, had 14 saves for the Jets, who have lost three of their last four games.

“You want to win games,” Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers said. “It doesn’t mean you have to win them with six goals every night but you want to score enough to win games and we haven’t been doing that. So, we know what we need to do; it’s just a matter of going out there and doing it.”

Winnipeg fell short of completing a season sweep of the Blues after having won the teams’ first three meetings by a combined 13-4 margin.

Winnipeg in wild-card spot

The Jets remain in the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, four points ahead of Calgary.

“We’re in eighth spot. You’d rather be in eighth spot than ninth,” coach Rick Bowness said. “Now it’s up to us to stay there and hopefully push up a little higher.”

From the side of the net, Kapanen redirected a pass from Nick Leddy past Hellebuyck at 4:04 of the first period, giving St. Louis a 1-0 lead. It was his fourth goal in 10 games with the Blues.

Walker increased the lead to 2-0 with 9:26 left in the second. Justin Faulk skated in down the left wing when he made a backhanded pass to Walker, who one-timed the puck from the side of the net.

Vrana wristed in a shot on a breakaway at 12 minutes of the third period after getting a pass from Kapanen. It was his fourth goal in four games.

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