Blues’ offensive attack rounding back into form as Coyotes come to town

ST. LOUIS — Several of the St. Louis Blues’ big offensive weapons ended slumps in Thursday night’s win at Ottawa.

The Blues, riding a two-game winning streak since their NHL-mandated bye, hope it is the start of a prolonged offensive uptick as they host the Arizona Coyotes at Scottrade Center on Saturday night.

In their 4-1 victory over the Senators, the Blues scored three goals in one period for the first time in 18 games. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo scored for the first time in 31 games. And forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn, who rank first and second on the team in points, scored in the same game for the first time since Dec. 10.

“You look at the goal scorers, the guys who got on the score sheet for us tonight,” Blues coach Mike Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the game. “Obviously that’s a pretty good indication that our leaders were ready to lead the way. I thought we had everybody going tonight.”

Pietrangelo’s goal could be especially encouraging.

The Blues are 15-3-2 this season when their defensemen score, but are 13-14-1 when they don’t. Pietrangelo’s goal made it five goals in the past five games for Blues defensemen and came off the heels of Vince Dunn’s overtime winner in Toronto on Tuesday.

“It was nice to get back on the board about 4,000 shots later,” Pietrangelo told the Post-Dispatch. “I think we felt it coming that someone on the back end was gonna score. … Five-on-five we’ve really been jumping in the last two games here.”

Carter Hutton started in goal for the sixth time in the Blues’ last nine games. He has a 5-0-1 record with a 1.78 GAA and a .935 save percentage in those starts.

Hutton gave the credit to his teammates.

“There wasn’t really a ton of real Grade-A chances,” Hutton told the Post-Dispatch. “I thought our D did a really good job.”

The Blues have won 12 straight against Arizona, a string dating back to a 3-2 overtime loss on Nov. 12, 2013 to the Phoenix Coyotes. St. Louis has outscored Arizona 48-16 during the win streak.

The Blues beat Arizona 3-2 in a shootout on November 9.

The Coyotes are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss in Nashville on Thursday. Arizona is trying to snap a five-game losing streak.

“I thought the first five, 10 minutes we were fine,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet told NHL.com. “I thought we did all right, and then they made a push and I was a little nervous with our reaction. And then in the second and the third, I liked the way that we reacted.”

Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun missed the Nashville game with the flu. Tocchet believes he should be good to go against the Blues.

Forward Brendan Perlini’s goal in the third gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead in the third period, but Arizona couldn’t hold on against Nashville.

“All the guys are pros and we’re all good at what we do,” Perlini told NHL.com. “We have to try to be better every night and stay even-keeled and never get too low and never too high and just play the game hard.”