ST. LOUIS - The Coyotes’ recent dominance of the Blues in St. Louis ended Saturday night as the hosts finally beat the visitors, 4-3, at Scottrade Center.
“This one will sting,” said Coyotes forward Steven Reinprecht, who assisted on Phoenix’s first and third goals. “We’re fighting for a playoff spot with these guys. Even though it’s just the start of December, every game is important to us.”
Ed Jovanovski, Shane Doan and Kyle Turris scored goals for the Coyotes, but they weren’t enough to lift Phoenix, which entered the game with six straight victories over the Blues in St. Louis dating to the 2005-06 season.
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Blues forward B.J. Crombeen one-timed the game-winning goal past Ilya Bryzgalov at 13:47 of the second period. Brad Boyes added three assists for St. Louis.
Bryzgalov, playing his first full game since Nov. 24, stopped 26 of 30 shots for the Coyotes (12-12-2).
Trailing 4-3, the Coyotes had two power plays within the final nine minutes of the game, but they failed to score on either.
“We had a couple of opportunities and we just came up short again and that’s just not good enough,” Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said. “If we’re going to be successful, we need to capitalize on those opportunities, and we didn’t do it tonight.”
Gretzky also wasn’t pleased that Enver Lisin was called for hooking in the offensive zone early in the second period. The Blues scored on the ensuing power play to tie the score at 2.
St. Louis took a 3-2 lead at 11:37 of the second period when Keith Tkachuk banged in a rebound for his 12th goal of the season. Crombeen followed Tkachuk’s goal less than five minutes later and the Coyotes could only get as close as 4-3 after a power-play goal by Turris with 3:56 left in the second.
“We got one (power-play goal) in tonight but we needed two,” Doan said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t take care of business in the third.”
Doan was involved in a controversial play near the end of the game involving Blues forward David Backes. Doan was given a five-minute major penalty for boarding Backes, but replays indicated the call was too harsh.
• The Blues honored Tkachuk before the game for recently reaching the 1,000-point mark. Tkachuk notched 623 of his points while playing for the Coyotes/Jets franchise from 1991-2001. Only 72 NHL players have totaled 1,000 points. ( Todd Walsh talks to Keith Tkachuk about his milestone)
• Coyotes center Olli Jokinen missed his fifth straight game due to a shoulder injury. Jokinen skated with his teammates Saturday morning and was one of the last players to leave the ice. He is expected to play on Wednesday in Dallas.
• Doan has notched at least one point in four consecutive games.
• Blues forward Paul Kariya missed his 14th straight because of a hip injury.
• Zbynek Michalek has blocked 16 shots in the past three games and leads the NHL with 91 blocked shots.
• Coyotes forward Dan Carcillo and Crombeen fought three seconds into the game. Carcillo dropped Crombeen to the ice with a punch. He later fought Blues forward Roman Polak and again was the last one standing.
• Doan and Turris each won six of nine face-offs.