Coyotes Get The New Year's Blues, Fall 4-3 In St. Louis

The St. Louis Blues extended their win streak to five games with a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in St. Louis.

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Coyotes Beaten 4-3 By Blues In St. Louis

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Alexander Steen scored the eventual game- winning goal, as the St. Louis Blues held off a late charge by Phoenix to secure a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes.

Brad Boyes scored the first of four consecutive St. Louis goals, while Barret Jackman added two assists. Jaroslav Halak stopped 30 shots in the Blues' fifth consecutive victory.

"It's a good feeling," Steen said. "It's a long year. We've had our ups and downs. We started off really hot, we were first overall in the league for a while, then fell down. Now we're climbing back up. We've got to find a way to maintain this, now."

Phoenix made it a close by rallying for three goals in the third period. Shane Doan scored his second of the game inside the final minute, but the Coyotes couldn't net the equalizer as they ended December with a 6-6-2 record.

Ilya Bryzgalov allowed all four goals on 22 shots in the setback. Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said that, in order to get wins, his team is looking to capitalize on a few more chances, get a few more saves and make fewer mistakes, and Friday that didn't happen.

"Our margin for error is very slim," Tippett said. "On every given night, you've got to try to play as well as you can in all those areas, and right now we're just not there."

Boyes got the Blues on the board at the 14:08 mark of the first period. On a St. Louis rush, Steen carried the puck up the left side, then passed to Boyes at the inside edge of the right circle. Boyes deked once before beating Bryzgalov between the pads.

A turnover in the Phoenix end led to Erik Johnson's shorthanded goal 7:23 into the second period, and Alex Pietrangelo's power-play marker with 1:29 left in the stanza made it a 3-0 game.

After Steen scored at the 3:05 mark of the third, Phoenix started its comeback.

Doan got the Coyotes' first at 6:20, and they didn't score again until Lauri Korpikoski lit the lamp with a wrister with 1:27 to play.

Doan brought Phoenix within one with 21 seconds left, but Halak held steady from there to secure the Blues' win.

"Good thing we didn't give up any more, because that would be a disaster," Halak said.

Game Notes

Doan's first goal was his 700th career point...Scottie Upshall had two assists for the Coyotes...St. Louis is 4-0 on its five-game homestand, which concludes Sunday against Dallas...Phoenix plays at Minnesota on Sunday.

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Phoenix Coyotes In St. Louis For New Year's Eve Blues

The St. Louis Blues will try to remain undefeated on their current homestand with a fifth straight victory as they host a Phoenix Coyotes club tonight at Scottrade Center that finally broke out of prolonged scoring slump last time out.

The Blues have won the first three contests of a five-game homestand to improve to 13-4-2 as the host this season. After Jaroslav Halak notched 32 saves in a shutout of the Predators on Sunday, head coach Davis Payne made a surprise move prior to Tuesday's game versus the Blackhawks by naming Ty Conklin the starter.

Payne's move paid off as Conklin made 25 saves in a 3-1 victory.

"Ty made the saves when he needed to and I thought everything was timely," said Brad Boyes, who had the go-ahead goal early in the third period.

Even Conklin, who had allowed seven goals in his previous outing versus Chicago on Nov. 30, was taken by surprise.

"Yeah, I was. Certainly, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. But I was glad to get in there," said Conklin before adding how he was made aware of the start.

"[Payne] said, 'You're playing (Tuesday)' and I said 'Okay.' Then I asked him, 'I'm playing?' He said 'Yes' and I had to ask him again because I was a little surprised and he said 'You sound surprised' and I was," Conklin admitted.

Conklin is just 1-3-0 with a 3.27 goals-against average in his career versus the Coyotes, so Halak is likely to face them for the first time in his career tonight.

Whoever gets the call in net will be facing a confident Coyotes club that is coming off Wednesday's 6-3 victory over the Kings. Phoenix had lost three of four prior to the win, netting just a single goal in each outing.

Shane Doan had a pair of goals, Scottie Upshall netted his team-leading ninth goal to go along with two assists and Keith Yandle ended with three assists to match a career high. Ray Whitney also had a goal and an assist and Brett MacLean scored in his NHL debut.

"It was nice to get some goals out there today, considering what we had done the previous couple of games," said Doan. "Especially against LA when they kept coming back and we were able to respond."

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 23 shots for the Coyotes, who played without Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Radim Vrbata (lower body). Hanzal was hurt in Tuesday's game versus the Ducks, while Vrbata has sat out three in a row.

Bryzgalov is 5-7-1 with a 2.94 GAA versus the Blues, but did record 35 saves in a 5-3 home victory over the team on Nov. 13. Whitney led the offense with his fourth-career hat trick and matched a season high with five points first done on Feb. 8, 2007 while with Carolina.

The victory was just the Coyotes' third in their last nine versus the Blues, who have lost seven of their last 10 in Phoenix.

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