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49-22-11
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42-27-13

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26 SOG
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game recap

Blues 3, Coyotes 2

Friday, 12.23.2011 / 10:02 PM
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Blues 3, Coyotes 2
St. Louis Blues 3, Phoenix Coyotes 2
Three Stars of the Game
Matt D'Agostini
1st
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 9:07
Alexander Steen
2nd
Alexander Steen
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:28
Shane Doan
3rd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 19:17

By Jerry Brown | NHL.com Correspondent
GLENDALE – 
On the night when Keith Tkachuk joined the Coyotes' Ring of Honor, the perfect ending was spoiled by the same culprit that often foiled "Captain Coyote" in days gone by – a hot goaltender.

St. Louis goalie Brian Elliott improved to 14-3-0 by making 24 saves and the Blues spoiled their former teammate's special night in the desert with a 3-1 win on Friday at Jobing.com Arena.

Matt D'Agostini snapped a 1-1 deadlock with 1:35 left in the second period and Jason Arnott gave the Blues a two-goal lead 1:48 into the third period. Alexander Steen also scored for St. Louis, now 14-3-4 since Ken Hitchcock took over behind the bench on Nov. 6. It was Arnott's 21st career goal against the Coyotes and his 56th point in 57 career games against Phoenix.

Evgeny Grachev assisted on the goals by D'Agostini and Arnott.

Shane Doan and Keith Yandle scored for the Coyotes, who are 11-6-1 on the road and were coming off back-to-back wins at Florida and Carolina but dropped to 7-8-2 at home and have lost four of their last five at Jobing.com Arena.

Tippett

"We've been banging our head against the wall trying to figure out why," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "If you had told me that by Christmas we'd be a game under .500 (at home), I would be very surprised. That's something that's going to have to change. It's unacceptable to have the home record we do."

The Coyotes (18-14-3) have been holding their game-day skates in Scottsdale this season, 30 minutes away from the arena and conveniently close to where the players live. But that might change.

"Whether we have to change our practice schedule or the way we do things at home … we're going to change something up to get it fixed," Tippett said.

Both teams had trouble getting started after a 30-minute ceremony to honor Tkachuk, who played all but 18 games of his 19-year career with the two teams. But one player who was ready was Elliott, who entered the game leading the NHL goals-against average (1.52) and save percentage (.944) and showed why with pretty glove saves early on shots by Kyle Chipchura and Ray Whitney.

Elliott also caught a break when Daymond Langkow was set up by Doan two-on-one but hit the right post with an open net to shoot at.

"They got a couple chances early and you want to make those first two saves to kind of get your head in the game," Elliott said. "Luckily for me, they were kind of bang-bang plays and it gets you into it pretty early. But we did a good job as a team of settling down and taking it to them."

Photo by Getty Images.

Steen, whose father Tomas is also in the Ring of Honor in Glendale and was a Tkachuk teammate during his distinguished career as a Winnipeg Jet (1981-95), broke a scoreless tie 7:12 into the second period. Alex Pietrangelo gobbled up a Phoenix turnover at the St. Louis blue line and caught Steen in stride as he split the Phoenix defense. Rostislav Klesla tried to hook Steen from behind, but he fought it off and beat Phoenix goalie Jason LaBarbera for his team-best 12th goal. Steen also leads the Blues at a plus-22 through 34 games.

But the Coyotes needed only 44 seconds to answer and a future Coyotes Ring of Honor member did the honors. Elliott stopped Michal Rozsival's shot between the circles, but the rebound bounced right to Doan, who beat Elliott to the near post for his ninth goal of the season and 305th of his career -- 18 shy of Tkachuk for second on the all-time franchise list.

The Coyotes had two quick power plays to try to cash in on the momentum, but Elliott stopped Whitney twice and Oliver Ekman-Larsson once before the Blues regained the lead.

After D'Agostini gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead late in the second period (see KEY MOMENT below), Arnott gave the Blues (20-10-4) a 3-1 lead by cleaning up a Kris Russell rebound early in the third.

Yandle cut the lead in half with 6:21 left by one-timing a Raffi Torres feed past Elliott, but the Coyotes never seriously threatened to get the equalizer.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com edited this story and compiled this recap.

 
With the score tied 1-1 late in the second period, St. Louis forward Matt D'Agostini took a stretch pass along the right side while the Coyotes were making a shift change and then fired a slap shot from the right circle that Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera tried to glove but couldn't.

"They had tired people on the ice and we caught them there," Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said.

► Click here to watch the KEY MOMENT.
 

• Before the game, the Coyotes inducted former captain Keith Tkachuk into the team's Ring of Honor. Click here to watch a video celebrating Tkachuk's career with the Coyotes/Jets franchise.

Hanzal
• Center Martin Hanzal left the game after getting checked into the boards by St. Louis forward David Backes and hit in the face with Backes' stick 37 seconds into the third period. No penalty was called on the play. Hanzal stayed down for several minutes and, once upright, had trouble making the step off the ice before heading slowly down the tunnel. He did not return. His status for Monday's games at Los Angeles is unclear at this point.

• Phoenix won 58 percent of the game's face-offs. Center Daymond Langkow won seven of 10.

• With the loss, the Coyotes dropped to 2-4-1 in games in which they've worn their alternate black sweater.

• Goalie Mike Smith missed his second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury he suffered in Tuesday's game at Florida. “He's going to get treatment through the break and we'll hopefully get him back on the ice right after Christmas,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said.

Aucoin
• The Coyotes played minus defenseman Adrian Aucoin, who suffered a lower-body injury in the game vs. the New York Rangers on Dec. 17.

• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette, David Rundblad and Mike Smith.

• The Coyotes' next game is Monday vs. the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. The puck drops at 8 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and can be heard on Money Radio 1510 (AM).
 
"It was a tough game. We knew what we were going to get from them. There wasn’t a whole lot of room out there and they played a pretty tight game. They got a couple bounces and it went their way tonight." "In a game against St. Louis you know that the specialty teams are going to be big, and our PK did a good job. Our power play has to help out."  "I thought we skated well. That was a key for us. That was the biggest reason why we looked good out there, but the whole team stayed with it. We weren’t good every shift, but after bad shifts we were right back at it.”
LaBarbera Doan Grachev
 
D'Agostini
Steen
Doan
 
  • Jan. 3, 2012:
  • April 6, 2012: 
  • Dec. 23, 2011: STL 3, PHX 2
  • March 25, 2012: 

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
07:12
STL
Alexander Steen (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Alex Pietrangelo (6)
1 - 0 STL
07:56
PHX
Shane Doan (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Lauri Korpikoski (8), Michal Rozsival (2)
1 - 1 Tie
18:25
STL
Matt D'Agostini (7) Slapshot - ASST: Roman Polak (8), Evgeny Grachev (3)
2 - 1 STL
3rd Period
01:48
STL
Jason Arnott (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Kris Russell (3), Matt D'Agostini (7)
3 - 1 STL
13:39
PHX
Keith Yandle (5) Slapshot - ASST: Raffi Torres (5), Cal O'Reilly (4)
3 - 2 STL
penalty summary
1st Period
08:41
STL
David Backes  Interference against  David Schlemko
19:44
PHX
Keith Yandle  Hi-sticking against  Jason Arnott
19:44
PHX
Keith Yandle  Hi-sticking against  Jason Arnott
2nd Period
00:42
STL
David Perron  Tripping against  Lauri Korpikoski
11:02
STL
Kris Russell  Tripping against  Lauri Korpikoski
14:51
STL
David Backes  Hi-sticking against  Rostislav Klesla
3rd Period
17:07
PHX
David Schlemko  Hooking against  David Perron
20:00
PHX
Ray Whitney  Misconduct (10 min)
goalie stats
Brian Elliott
Brian Elliott
14-3-0
SA: 26TOI: 60:00
Saves: 24EV: 20 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .923SH: 0 - 0
Jason LaBarbera
SA: 18TOI: 59:21
Saves: 15EV: 15 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .833SH: 0 - 0
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