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Preview: Coyotes at Blues

Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 5:02 PM | Dave Vest

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Preview: Coyotes at Blues
Phoenix Coyotes vs. St. Louis Blues

Season series: This is the third of three meetings this season between the two teams. In the most recent clash on March 15, St. Louis rookie Jake Allen made 28 saves to preserve a 3-0 victory at Scottrade Center. Forward Chris Stewart had two goals and one assist in the win.

Big story: Phoenix's slim playoff hopes took a hit on Monday following a 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Arena in Glendale. Phoenix had earned a point in eight of its previous nine games prior to the loss. With just six games remaining, the Coyotes are in 11th place in the Western Conference with 43 points and would likely need to run the table to avoid missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in four years.

Team Scope:

Photo by Getty Images.

Coyotes: Faced with a must-win against the Sharks on Monday on home ice, the Coyotes were outshot, 24-7, and outscored, 3-0, in the second period on the way to being shut out for the seventh time this season.

Goalie Jason LaBarbera made 37 saves standing in for injured goalie Mike Smith, who sustained a lower-body injury in practice on Sunday and was unable to make it through Monday's morning skate.

"We need a response from everybody," Head Coach Dave Tippett said after an intense practice on Wednesday morning. "When we lose, it's everybody. Our goaltending wasn't very good the other night. We didn't defend very well. We actually had a few great chances that we didn't score on, so there's improvement needed in all parts of our game. If we expect to win or give ourselves the best chance to win, improvement in those areas is needed."

Chad Johnson will start in goal. He is 2-0-1 with a 1.32 goals-against average in three games this season.

Captain Shane Doan will enter the game leading Phoenix with 47 points in 66 career games against the Blues. Doan has scored more points vs. the Blues than any other Central Division opponent in his career. He has notched three goals in his last five games against St. Louis.

"Nobody's excited about the situation we've put ourselves in, and we've got to go out there and do something about it," Doan said. "It's going to be a big road trip. It's going to test guys, and it's going to make sure guys are challenged. Guys got to go out there and meet that and if we do that, we're going to have a chance."


Blues: The Blues halted a two-game losing streak and helped coach Ken Hitchcock earn career win No. 600 in the National Hockey League following a 2-1 shootout decision over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

Andy McDonald and Alexander Steen scored shootout goals and goalie Brian Elliott made it stand. Despite the victory, St. Louis has not scored more than two goals in any of its last six games, relying on the stellar play of Elliott and Allen to begin the month. Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester scored his first goal as a member of the Blues to pull his team into a 1-1 tie with just 13 seconds left in the second period.


Who's hot: Phoenix defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is tied for first among all Coyotes with a plus-6 rating. His six multi-point games are a team-high and the Coyotes are 4-1-1 in games that he records multiple points this season... Elliott rebounded strong after allowing two goals on 24 shots in a 2-0 loss to Chicago on Sunday with a 22-save performance in a shootout win over the Canucks two days later. The 28-year-old goalie is 6-1-0 in his last seven decisions with a 1.00 goals-against average, .963 save percentage and three shutouts.

Injury report: Forward Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) and goalie Mike Smith (lower body) are listed day-to-day for Phoenix. … St. Louis forwards Scott Nichol (lower body) and T.J. Oshie (foot) are questionable while goalie Jaroslav Halak (lower body) is out.

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 18 '13 PHX 1 at STL 2 - SO A. McDonald
Mar 14 '13 PHX 0 at STL 3 C. Stewart
Mar 07 '13 STL 6 at PHX 3 S. Nichol
M. Boedker4371825-11032
S. Doan43131124+53102
K. Yandle4391524+14442
R. Vrbata2981422+11220
O. Ekman-Larsson4331922+62401
M. Hanzal34111021-22042
D. Moss4151520+51910
A. Vermette4310818-42623
B. Gordon434913+0800
S. Sullivan335712-82020
R. Torres285712-11300
K. Chipchura414812+15000
L. Korpikoski326511-31010
D. Morris3801111-63600
R. Klinkhammer18459+61001
M. Lombardi21448+0411
R. Klesla33167-21600
M. Stone36426+01610
N. Johnson17426+3011
D. Schlemko25044+51000
P. Bissonnette24044+23600
C. Conner7112+3000
Z. Michalek29022+51200
D. Rundblad8011-5000
A. Bolduc10000-4200
C. Summers6000-3900
C. Brown5000+0200
A. Miele1000+1000
M. Smith3013-11-4748162.60.909
J. LaBarbera143-6-2293722.61.922
C. Johnson42-0-251081.21.954
C. Stewart43161531+23843
D. Perron43101525+04222
A. Steen3571825+51423
D. Backes4351924+45811
P. Berglund4315722-31042
A. Pietrangelo4251722+01020
K. Shattenkirk4341822+11620
T. Oshie3071320-51521
J. Bouwmeester4271219-72210
V. Sobotka4381018-43112
V. Tarasenko338917-11031
A. McDonald3251217-21411
B. Jackman433912+63900
J. Schwartz404610-6400
J. Leopold34268-81400
C. Porter24246+4002
W. Redden23235-21100
R. Polak43145-44401
K. Russell31145+4410
A. Cracknell16224+1200
R. Reaves38123+07000
M. D'Agostini16112-4200
S. Nichol30101-22501
I. Cole15011-41000
J. Langenbrunner4011+1000
A. Murray1000+0000
D. Jaskin1000+0000
B. Elliott1910-7-1414252.42.904
J. Allen149-4-0323342.46.904
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