PrintPrint

Coyotes knock off slumping Blues

Associated Press

1/11/2011 12:49:23 AM

ST. LOUIS -- Ten days earlier, the Phoenix Coyotes fell just shy of erasing a four-goal deficit against the St. Louis Blues. This time, in the same rink, they finished the job.

Taylor Pyatt scored the go-ahead goal on a wraparound with 3:12 remaining in regulation after assisting on Kyle Turris's tying goal earlier the period as Phoenix earned a 4-3 victory Monday night.

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett used his timeout after the Blues scored twice in a 20-second span to take the lead early in the third.

"I called the timeout just to tell them that we were doing some good things and to hang in there," Tippett said. "I wanted them to be confident and keep working, and that good things will happen."

Pyatt has three goals and two assists in the last four games, including the go-ahead goal at Colorado on Jan. 6. He thought the timeout was the turning point.

"I just think it settled us down a little and got us to refocus and regroup," Pyatt said. "It gave us some hope. We were tired, we needed a breather."

Turris scored on a rush, that took advantage of the Blues' fourth line, and assisted on Pyatt's 10th of the season -- a play that seemed to catch Jaroslav Halak and the St. Louis defence off-guard.

"I had some room behind the net," Pyatt said. "I stepped out and tried to jam the puck as hard as I could. Got lucky, it went between his legs."

Lee Stempniak added a breakaway goal for Phoenix, which turned the tables on a team that built a four-goal cushion and then hung on for a 4-3 victory Dec. 31 in St. Louis.

The Blues, who ended 2010 with a five-game win streak, have lost four in a row.

"I'd say it's just the way it goes sometimes," forward Matt D'Agostini said. "That's been our story lately. When we haven't been so great, it's cost us."

Blues coach Davis Payne didn't seem too concerned, either, saying there wasn't a common theme in the slump.

"Tonight's performance is a pretty solid performance that we'd take most nights," he said. "Their goaltender held firm at times and they found a way."

D'Agostini and Brad Winchester scored 20 seconds apart early in the third to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead. Winchester, who plays on the checking line, has scored in three straight games for the first time in his career.

The Coyotes had a two-goal flurry in the second, going up 2-1 on Lauri Korpikoski's deflection and the breakaway by Stempniak, who ended a 15-game goal drought after stealing the puck from defenceman Erik Johnson.

D'Agostini drew two penalties in the first period, and set up the lone goal with 1:07 left in the frame -- sending a backhand pass to David Backes, who scored his fifth goal in seven games.

Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera made his 14th start, all but one on the road. No. 1 goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has missed nine of the last 13 games for a variety of reasons, including a family medical issue and his own illness.

Both teams continued to struggle on the power play. The Coyotes are 0-for-19 over the last eight games. The Blues are 2-for-31 in their last 12.

NOTES: The Blues are third in the NHL with 38 fights. Cam Janssen took on the Coyotes' Paul Bissonnette at 5:31 of the first. ... The Coyotes are 18-8-3 against the Western Conference.