Coyotes 'keep pushing' but fall again to Blues
The second game of the Coyotes' two-day road trip never had a chance to live up to the first one. Weary legs and St. Louis' more deliberate style made certain of that in the Blues' 2-1 victory Tuesday at Scottrade Center.
"You could tell fatigue was a bit of a factor there," coach Dave Tippett told FOX Sports Arizona's Todd Walsh of the team's third game in four nights. "That being said, I thought our third period was our best period. We kept pushing."
St. Louis forward Dmitrij Jaskin scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period when his backhand trickled between goalie Mike's Smith's arm and body. It was an unfortunate break for Smith, who played well in his second game in as many nights.
"That's probably one he'd like to have back," Tippett said, "but he made some great saves to keep us in the game."
Jaskin's goal helped the Blues recover from a sluggish start, as Sam Gagner's 10th goal of the season gave Arizona a 1-0 lead just 4:42 into the first period.
Alexander Steen also scored for St. Louis and goalie Jake Allen (25 saves) faced a light workload until late in the game as the Blues avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.
St. Louis was penalty-free until defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was whistled for holding with 2:43 to play. The Coyotes pulled Smith for a 6-on-4 advantage and managed four shots on the ensuing power play, but they couldn't get the equalizer past Allen and had to settle for a 1-1 road trip after a thrilling shootout win in Chicago the night before.
Smith continued his strong recent play with 35 saves for Arizona. He has posted a save percentage at or above .920 in seven of his eight starts since the All-Star break.
"Smitty was really good for us tonight; gave us a chance," Gagner said. "We were right in it until the end. We've got to find a way to capitalize on some chances."
That has been especially difficult against the Blues. St. Louis is 3-0 against the Coyotes this season and has outscored them 14-2 in those games. Arizona is just 2-10-1 against the Blues over the last four seasons.
Arizona was outshot 10-0 in the second period before getting its first shot of the period with just under six minutes to go. But the Coyotes held St. Louis without a shot in the first half of the third period and had a 13-6 shot advantage in the final period.
The Coyotes played the game without defenseman Connor Murphy, who was scratched before the game due to an undisclosed illness. Arizona has two days off before hosting rare, back-to-back home games against San Jose and the New York Rangers on Friday and Saturday at Gila River Arena.
The Associated Press contributed to this report