(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 Jobing.com 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 Jobing.com 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.