It came down, quite literally, to the wire, the Phoenix Coyotes may have played their most complete game of the season. Despite a slow start in the opening frame, the Coyotes overcame every obstacle St. Louis could throw at them, in their 4-3 win over the Blues.
The first period wasn't pretty for Phoenix. They failed to mount many chances against Jaroslav Halak, and their only excitement was from a Paul Bissonnette thrashing of Cam Janssen. David Backes' goal was the only one scored in the first, with the Blues leading 1-0 after one.
The second period saw the momentum shift in the Coyotes' favor. They outshot the Blues 15-8 in the period, and managed to get a pair of shots past Halak. The first came on a Lauri Korpikoski re-direct of an Ed Jovanovski shot.
Three minutes later, Lee Stempniak snapped his drought when he made a brilliant defensive move and started a breakway, slipping a backhander past Halak's right side. It was Stempniak's first goal since December 5th, against the Anaheim Ducks.
St. Louis came charging back in the third, however. They ruled the shot total, besting Phoenix by a 17-8 clip. When the Blues did strike against Jason LaBarbera, they did it quickly.
Both of St. Louis' goals came within a 20-second period in the third. The first came on an unassisted goal from Matt D'Agostini, while the second came from Brad Winchester to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead.
Though it's been typical of the Coyotes to surrender late leads of late, they were not going to allow it against the Blues. Midway through the period, Kyle Turris put a rope of a shot past Halak to level the score at three. With just about three minutes left in the game, Taylor Pyatt forced the biscuit past Halak to net the game-winner for the Coyotes.
St. Louis wasn't ready to accept that Pyatt shot as the game-winner, however. They had several opportunities, with turnovers coming from Jason LaBarbera and Keith Yandle in the game's final minute. One can only wonder what St. Louis could have done with a few more seconds, as they were still attacking the crease as time expired.
Most of the credit for Monday's win should go to the line of Kyle Turris, Lauri Korpikoski, and Taylor Pyatt. The three combined for six points, each with a goal and an assist, none bigger than Pyatt's 10th goal in the game's waning minutes.
The Coyotes will look to nab both halves of this quick road trip when they head to Columbus on Tuesday to square off against the Blue Jackets, who have had struggles of their own following a hot start.