Halak makes 34 saves in Blues’ victory
Jaroslav Halak made a season-high 34 saves, and the St. Louis Blues snapped a season-worst, three-game skid with a 4-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night.
The Blues improved to 15-3-2 at home with their seventh win there in eight games. They are tied with Detroit for most home wins (15).
Chris Stewart and Jamie Langenbrunner scored first-period goals for St. Louis, which improved to 16-5-5 since Ken Hitchcock replaced fired coach Davis Payne on Nov. 6. T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund added goals for the Blues.
Halak improved to 5-0-3 in his last eight starts. He is 8-7-5 this season, rebounding from a 1-6 start.
Mike Smith (15-11-3) made 27 saves for Phoenix after missing six games with a groin injury. Radim Vrbata scored his team-leading 19th goal late in the second period for the Coyotes.
Oshie scored a power-play goal when he pounced on the rebound of a shot from the point by Alex Pietrangelo at 4:28 of the second period. His 13th goal made it 3-1, and the Blues improved to 8-0-3 in games in which Oshie scores.
Berglund added St. Louis’ seventh empty-net goal of the season with 38 seconds left.
St. Louis, which beat Phoenix 3-2 on Dec. 23, has won five of seven against the Coyotes. The Blues won their first game of the new year after going 2-8-2 last January.
NOTES: LW Alex Steen, who also has a Blues’ best 13 goals, missed a third game because of concussion-like symptoms. … The Blues are 17-1-1 when leading after the second period. … Phoenix is 8-4-1 in its last 11 games in St. Louis. … Phoenix had killed 20 straight power plays before Oshie’s second-period goal. … The Coyotes snapped a 1-for-14, power-play slump with Vrbata’s goal. … St. Louis is 17-0 when scoring at least three goals.