Desert Dogs Make It Three In A Row, Down Blues 5-3

The Coyotes, with a Saturday night victory over the St. Louis Blues and yet another hat trick, have now strung together three wins in a row. Hopefully the momentum keeps as Phoenix begins to come together.

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Another Hat Trick Helps Yotes To 5-3 Win Over Blues

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) – Ray Whitney posted the hat trick and recorded a season-high five points as Phoenix got past St. Louis, 5-3.

Radim Vrbata added a goal and two assists while Martin Hanzal also lit the lamp for the Coyotes, who have won three straight games.

Ilya Bryzgalov was solid for the win, making 35 saves.

Andy McDonald scored a goal and picked up a pair of helpers for the Blues, who have dropped three in a row.

David Backes and Brad Boyes also tallied, but Ty Conklin was dented for four goals on only 26 shots in defeat.

In the second period, Whitney’s first goal of the year put Phoenix on top by a 2-1 count. The goal happened by accident, as an attempted clearing pass by Blues defenseman Nicholas Drazenovic was redirected into the net. Backes responded for St. Louis on a power play at 7:52.

The Coyotes tacked on two more, as Whitney struck on the power play after the midway point of the stanza on a shot that trickled through Conklin’s pads, and Hanzal’s marker while the Coyotes had the advantage at 15:03 made it a two- goal game.

Boyes brought the Blues to 4-3 with 1:48 left in regulation, and though Conklin was pulled for an extra skater with 1:27 to go, Whitney sealed the win and capped his big night by hitting the empty net with 24 seconds to play.

Vrbata’s power-play score — a tip-in from a Keith Yandle offering — a little more than five minutes into the contest put the Coyotes on the board. McDonald countered at even strength on a backhander for the Blues at the 14:10 mark.

Game Notes

Whitney’s last trifecta came on March 6, 2009 in a 6-1 Carolina win over Calgary. His last five-point night occurred on February 8, 2007 — also a three-goal, two-assist game — as Carolina beat Boston, 5-2…After Vernon Fiddler’s hat trick in Friday’s game with Calgary, it marked the second time since the team moved to Phoenix and the fourth time in Jets/Coyotes franchise lore that the club has seen back-to-back three-goal efforts…Jeremy Roenick was the last player to do so, scoring three on consecutive nights on November 25-26, 1999 against New Jersey and Colorado. Ed Olczyk and Teemu Selanne turned the trick on December 12-15, 1995 to Montreal and Edmonton, and Selanne also notched two straight hat tricks on February 28-March 2, 1993 against Minnesota and Quebec…Vrbata’s power-play goal snapped the Blues’ streak of 22 straight penalties killed…Attendance was a sparse 9,412.


Blues Roll Into Glendale, Coyotes Aim For Third-Straight Win, 6:00 P.M. AZT

(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues will try to avoid a third straight loss tonight, when they kick off a three-game road trip by stopping in Phoenix to face the Coyotes at Arena.

The Blues had won seven in a row before getting slammed, 8-1, in Columbus on Wednesday. St. Louis had a better effort the following night against Nashville, but still wound up losing to the Predators in the shootout phase.

Marcel Goc scored the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout, lifting the Predators to a 3-2 win. It was also the Blues' first loss at home after beginning 2010-11 with a 6-0-0 record at Scottrade Center.

After Patrik Berglund, the fourth shooter for the Blues, was turned away by Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, Goc slid the puck inside the left post and past the outstretched pad of St. Louis' Jaroslav Halak.

Matt D'Agostini and David Backes scored in regulation for the Blues. Halak stopped 24-of-26 shots, but fell to 8-2-2 on the year.

"Right now teams are coming after us hard," said St. Louis head coach Davis Payne. "Until we break that with firm plays and clean decisions they're gonna keep coming at us."

It was the first game for the Blues since centerman T.J. Oshie suffered a fractured left ankle in the loss to the Blue Jackets. Oshie, who leads St. Louis with 10 points, underwent surgery to repair the ankle on Thursday and it is expected that he will miss the next three months.

Blues winger David Perron has missed the last four games with a concussion and is not expected to play tonight. However, he may be able to return at some point during this road trip.

St. Louis is 3-2-2 as the guest this year and will also be making stops in Colorado and Detroit on this swing.

In other news, the Blues signed Backes with a five-year contract extension on Friday. The 26-year-old Backes is in his fifth NHL season after the Blues made him the 62nd overall pick in the 2003 draft. He has two goals and four assists in 14 games this season.

Phoenix, meanwhile, has managed to record consecutive victories for the first time this year and will try to extend to a three-game winning streak tonight.

The Coyotes posted a 2-1 win in Chicago on Wednesday and followed up with another close win over visiting Calgary on Friday. Vernon Fiddler's first career hat trick helped Phoenix take a 5-4 decision over the Flames.

Scottie Upshall and Lee Stempniak each lit the lamp for the Coyotes, while Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves in the win.

Phoenix has won two of its last three on home ice, but is still just 3-2-3 at Arena this season.

The Blues and Coyotes split four meetings a year ago, but St. Louis has taken six of eight overall in the series. The clubs have split four of the last eight matchups in the desert.

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