By Dave Vest GLENDALE -- The Coyotes will play the second game of a critical six-game homestand tonight against the St. Louis Blues. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (39-24-11), which has gone 6-1-1 in its past eight games, will enter the game in fourth place in the Western Conference standings, just three points behind the Pacific Division-leading San Jose and one point ahead of fifth-place Los Angeles.
The Coyotes will be looking to rebound from a 2-1 loss to Chicago on Sunday, in which they committed just two penalties but allowed two power-play goals.
Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to start in goal for Phoenix, which has posted a 2-1-0 record vs. St. Louis this season. Tonight's game is the last of four games these teams will play in 2010-11.
Defenseman Keith Yandle is leading the Coyotes - and is second among NHL defensemen - with 57 points. Yandle, however, has not produced a point in the past three games.
The Coyotes have played the past seven games without center Martin Hanzal, who has been sidelined because of a lower-body injury. Hanzal remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He will not play tonight.
Photo by Getty Images.
St. Louis (32-31-9) will enter the game in 13th place in the Western Conference standings, 12 points behind eighth-place Anaheim.
The Blues are 1-2-0 on their current four-game trip. Most recently, St. Louis gave up 45 shots in Saturday's 5-3 loss at San Jose. Goalie Jaroslav Halak was pulled after giving up three goals on 10 shots in the first period of that game.
The Blues are led offensively by right wing David Backes who has notched 26 goals and 28 assists. Backes is one of only three NHLers with at least 25 goals and 190 hits. Alex Ovechkin and Brenden Morrow are the others.
St. Louis has scored at least three goals in six of its past seven games and 23 goals overall during that stretch. That offensive output comes after a four-game stretch during which it scored just four goals total.
Coyotes center Eric Belanger, who leads the team in faceoff percentage (55.0), has scored four goals in the past seven games.
Blues right wing Matt D'Agostini is riding a career-high five-game point streak with four goals and five assists during that span.
The Coyotes and Blues have combined to score 22 goals in the first three games they've played against each other this season.
Coyotes forward Lee Stempniak was selected by the St. Louis Blues with the 148th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Stempniak broke into the NHL with the Blues two years later and played 233 games before being traded to Toronto.
This game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM). A link to the radio broadcast will be provided at phoenixcoyotes.com at 7 p.m.
Click below to listen to members of the Coyotes talk about the game vs. the Blues.