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Perron scores shootout winner as Blues down Jets

The Canadian Press

2/25/2012 10:30:01 PM

WINNIPEG -- St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock didn't feel guilty about the heist his team pulled off Saturday.

Despite being outshot 41-18, the Blues beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in a shootout for a second straight victory on their current six-game road trip.

David Perron moved in on Jets goalie Chris Mason in the fourth round of the shootout and roofed a backhander as the Blues improved to 38-17-7.

Jaroslav Halak made 39 saves to pick up the win.

The Jets, who started the day first in the Southeast Division, fell to 30-26-8.

Blake Wheeler had both goals for the Jets and scored the only goal in the shootout for the home side.

Hitchcock was impressed the Blues, who were playing their third game in four days, found a way to win.

"This is a very difficult travel situation, so I'm very happy with it," he said. "(The Jets) are sitting here waiting for us, and we still come in and collect points. It's two points. . . any points you get on the road are really gratifying. You put them in the bank and move forward.

"Our goalie was our best player and he needed to be."

The Blues beat the Predators in a shootout Thursday before coming up to Winnipeg. They face the Calgary Flames on Monday.

St. Louis forward T.J. Oshie, who had a pair of first-period assists, said Halak was the only reason the Blues were still in it.

"We stole one," Oshie said. "They definitely took it to us it. And if it wasn't for Jaro, it could have been 6-2. We took advantage of a very hot goalie and we were able to steal one."

The Blues led 2-0 after the opening period, despite getting outshot 16-6.

David Backes opened the scoring at 7:43 with his 18th goal of the year, converting a perfect pass from Oshie with a shot past Mason.

Oshie set up the second goal for the visitors with just 46 seconds left in the period, sending a cross-ice pass to a streaking Perron who beat Mason for his 12th of the season.

The Jets cut the Blues' lead in half when Wheeler scored his 12th of the year at 4:49 of the second, firing a rebound past Halak.

Wheeler scored his second of the game, knocking one in on a goal-mouth scramble, to make it 2-2 with just over four minutes left in the middle period.

The third period was scoreless and neither club had a shot on goal in overtime.

Mason made 14 saves for the Jets, who host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.

"We got a point against one of the top Western teams, so the guys did a great job," said Mason. "It's just too bad we couldnt get the extra (point)."

Wheeler, playing on a line with Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd, was the most dominant player on the ice and now has three goals and 10 assists in his last six games.

He said letting a point slip away in the shootout shouldn't demoralize his team.

"We feel we outplayed them and the shot total was pretty indicative of what happened," he said. "We were strong on the puck, physical, threw pucks at the net. . . we're going to focus on the positives."

Dustin Byfuglien had two assists for Winnipeg.

Notes: Jets forward Antti Miettinen, placed on waivers by the club Friday, was in the lineup Saturday afternoon on a line with Nik Antropov and Tim Stapleton. Miettinen agreed to waive his no-movement clause after being approached by management. ... Winnipeg-born forward Alexander Steen, the son of former Jets great Thomas Steen, did not play for the Blues. He's been out since just after Christmas with a concussion. But he was in the press box Saturday afternoon, spotted having a chat with former NHL goalie turned TV analyst Darren Pang. Steen's dad is now a Winnipeg city councillor.