Whitney’s five-point night ignites Coyotes
Ray Whitney scored three goals and matched his career high with five points, leading the Phoenix Coyotes to a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
Whitney, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata each scored on the power play, and the Coyotes stretched their winning streak to three games. Vrbata had his first two-point game since the season opener against Boston.
Whitney’s final goal came into an empty net with 1:48 remaining. He also had five points for Carolina at Boston on Feb. 8, 2007.
Announced attendance was 9,412, the fifth crowd under 10,000 in eight Coyotes home games this season.
The Blues rank second in the NHL in goals allowed, but they’ve yielded 15 in their last three games.
The Coyotes broke on top early in the game. Vrbata redirected Keith Yandle’s shot from the left point for his fifth goal of the season on the power play at 5:03. Vrbata’s goal was the first Phoenix shot on net, and it snapped a streak of 22 straight penalty kills by the Blues.
St. Louis tied it on a backhander by Andy McDonald at 14:10 of the opening period. McDonald took a pass in front from Patrik Berglund and scored his third of the season.
Whitney’s first of the season pushed Phoenix into a 2-1 lead. Blues defenseman Nicholas Drazenovic’s clearing pass in front was redirected by Whitney into the net for his 325th career goal. Whitney has 18 in Stanley Cup playoff competition.
Whitney scored his second less than 5 minutes later. His shot from the left circle, on the power play, deflected off goalie Ty Conklin’s right pad and behind the goal line at 10:28. That pushed Phoenix back into the lead at 3-2, after David Backes tied the game on a power-play goal at 7:52.