COYOTES (21-15-9) at BLUES (31-8-5)
Season series: This is the second of three games between the Phoenix Coyotes and St. Louis Blues. An overtime goal by Oliver Ekman-Larsson lifted Phoenix to a 3-2 victory at Scottrade Center on Nov. 12.
Big story: The Coyotes will look to end a three-game losing streak against the Blues, who rank third in the Western Conference standings with 67 points.
Coyotes: The woes continued for Phoenix on Monday, when they suffered a 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.
Ekman-Larsson gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead midway through the first period before they went on to allow five unanswered goals en route to their third straight loss and 11th in 14 games (3-7-4).
"We're talked-out here," Head Coach Dave Tippett said after his team's most-recent setback. "(We've had) more meetings than you can shake a stick at. It's about doing now, and we'll see who can do it."
Captain Shane Doan is eager to see how he and his teammates respond vs. a tough opponent in a back-to-back situation.
"Adversity is one of those things that will show you what you’re really made of, show you what type of person you are, show you what type of character you have," Doan said. "...If you think it’s everyone else’s fault, you’re wrong. It’s not anyone else’s but ours individually. It’s your own fault. You have to be better. If you don’t understand that, then you shouldn’t be part of this group.”
Center Mike Ribeiro, who ranks second on the team with 32 points, left Monday's game because of a lower-body injury and did not play in the third period. Tippett said he would be a game-time decision.
Mike Smith, who gave up five goals on 38 shots on Monday, will be back in goal vs. St. Louis. Smith is 4-5-0 with a 3.21 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage vs. the Blues.
Ekman-Larsson has notched a goal and two assists in his last two games against the Blues.
Blues: Tuesday marks the beginning of a three-game homestand for St. Louis, which has won four straight and five of its past six games at Scottrade Center. Overall, the Blues are 17-3-2 at home and sit three points behind the Chicago Blackhawks for the Central Division lead.
The Blues could have defenseman Roman Polak back in the lineup against the Coyotes. Polak has missed the past 10 games with an ankle injury. He practiced Monday and will be re-evaluated Tuesday morning. When he returns, the Blues will have eight healthy defensemen.
"I think I'm pretty close," Polak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I think I have the green light to go. I don't know when ... if it's going to be tomorrow, the day after. I'm going to do whatever I can to get back in the lineup, and we'll see what the coaches decide."
Forward Alexander Steen, who has missed nine games with a concussion, practiced Monday for the first time since he sustained the injury during a game against the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 21. No date has been set for Steen's return. He is not expected to play Tuesday, although he did take shifts on the Blues' top line with David Backes, T.J. Oshie and Jaden Schwartz.
Who's hot: Phoenix forward Mikkel Boedker had an assist Monday. He has earned a point in four of his past five games (three goals, three assists). … Blues forward Patrik Berglund has four goals and an assist in the past four games.
Injury report: Phoenix defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) is on injured reserve. … Blues center Maxim Lapierre did not practice Monday after sustaining what appeared to be a lower-body injury at Vancouver on Friday. His status for Tuesday is uncertain.
|Back to top ↑|