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Phoenix Coyotes Open Road Swing With Tilt Against Blues In St. Louis

The Phoenix Coyotes will play the first of back-to-back road games in the Midwest on Monday night, when they square off against the Blues in St. Louis.

Monday will mark the third meeting of the season between these two squads. The Coyotes won the first matchup, while the Blues fended off a late Phoenix rally to defeat the Yotes 4-3 on New Years Eve.

Jason LaBarbera will be in net for the Coyotes for his third straight game. Ilya Bryzgalov is still out for personal reasons, leaving the veteran backup to get another shot. 

LaBarbera has played very well in Bryzgalov's most recent absence. After struggling on the Coyotes' six-game road trip, LaBarbera has bounced back in his last pair of starts. He shut out the Colorado Avalanche in Denver, while only allowing two goals in an overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

The starting question for the Blues is not so clear. After a hot start, Jaroslav Halak has fallen on hard times, dropping three consecutive starts and allowing 10 goals in the process. His last start did show promise, when Halak allowed just two goals in a loss to the New York Rangers.

If St. Louis decides to bench Halak for Monday's contest, it will be veteran goaltender Ty Conklin. Conklin has won four of his last five starts, but did get hit with a loss in his last appearance, in mop up duty for Halak.

Phoenix heads into Monday's game sitting in ninth in the Western Conference, just one point ahead of 12th place St. Louis. Both teams have experienced struggles lately, with much of St. Louis' woes stemming from injuries to key players.

While the Coyotes have showed signs of emerging from their winter inconsistencies, they have yet to translate it to success in consecutive games. Despite those inconsistencies, the Coyotes can still leap back into the top eight, with a win and a loss from the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.