By Dave Vest
ST. LOUIS -- The Coyotes will play the second of consecutive road games tonight vs. the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).
Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to start in goal for Phoenix (12-9-0), which beat Minnesota, 3-2, in Saint Paul on Wednesday.
The Coyotes already have played and beaten St. Louis twice this season, including a 2-0 shutout in St. Louis on Oct. 29. Bryzgalov stopped 32 shots in the victory.
St. Louis (6-8-4) has won just three of 11 home games. Because of that fact, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett is expecting the Blues to play this game with an increased sense of urgency/desperation.
"We want to play a game similar to the road game we played last night in Minnesota," Tippett said. "I thought we did a great job of taking the crowd out of that game and kept them from gaining any momentum just by how hard we worked. We want the same thing tonight... They're going to be a revved up team and we want to use that to our advantage and find a way to get a lead and frustrate them a little."
Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata is averaging a point per game over the past four games. On Wednesday vs. Minnesota, he notched a goal and an assist to key a 3-2 win.
Blues center Andy McDonald has registered five points in the past four games, including a goal and two assists vs. Vancouver on Nov. 10.
Tonight’s game is the second in two nights for Phoenix, which played Wednesday at Minnesota. The Coyotes have played back-to-back games three times already this season and have fared well, posting a 3-1-0 record in the first games and a 2-1-0 record in the second games.
The Coyotes have won eight of the nine games in which they've held a lead after two periods.
Blues owner Dave Checketts is not pleased with his team’s record (6-8-4). After a practice last week, Checketts told reporters: “I’m frustrated like everybody else. And I think it’s frankly time to declare the wait over… It’s time to win. We have everything we need to win… there’s no excuse.”
"I can't put a timetable on what day I'm going to come back. I've got to get a little stronger on the ice, and when that happens we'll make the decision to see what day I'm going to play."