Kessel, Raanta help Coyotes stop Blues' 8-game win streak

The Arizona Coyotes got the kind of third-period effort they'd been seeking at home after two previous lackluster finishes - against the NHL's hottest team, no less.

Phil Kessel scored the go-ahead goal in the third and the Coyotes beat St. Louis 3-1 on Tuesday night to halt the Blues' eight-game winning streak.

Conor Garland also scored, Jakob Chychrun assisted on both goals and Antti Raanta stopped 38 shots as the Coyotes ended a three-game losing streak. Nick Schmaltz added an empty-net, power-play goal.

“We had to worry about the details of our game,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “We believed that we were going to win the game, and that's what we need, is that belief.”

Kessel took a pass from Lawson Crouse behind two defenders and buried one to make it 2-1 7:20 into the third period.

“We knew we needed a bounce-back game here,” Kessel said. “We got back to our game, getting pucks in and going after it.”

Schmaltz raised his team-leading point total to 32. The Coyotes earned the 1,300th win in franchise history.

Tyler Bozak scored the Blues’ only goal. The Blues ended up 0 for 4 on power plays and lost despite outshooting the Coyotes 38-27. St. Louis failed to score on a power play for the first time in five games.

The Coyotes had been 0 for 11 over their last four games on the power play before going 2 for 4 on Tuesday.

Garland went high over goaltender Jake Allen’s glove with four seconds left on the Coyotes’ first power play to give Arizona the lead at 8:05 of the first period. It gave Garland his team-leading 14th goal.

The Blues tied it at 14:53. With the Coyotes unable to clear the puck from their zone, Alex Steen drove in and backhanded a pass to Bozak for his eighth goal of the season.

The Coyotes finished the first period on a four-minute power play, thanks to a double minor for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct against the Blues’ Ivan Barbashev. St. Louis kept Arizona from scoring, drawing cheers from Blues fans.

St. Louis went on a 5-on-3 power play early in the second period after a tripping call against Raanta and a hooking penalty on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Blues couldn’t convert.

“That was huge momentum for us right there,” Tocchet said. “That's hard work there. After we killed it we kind of got back in the game.”

Raanta said the Coyotes took away the middle of the zone on defense.

“That was first or second 5-on-3 for me this year,” Raanta said. “They really didn't get the one-timers, so that made my life a little bit easier.”

Arizona’s Vinnie Hinostroza hit the crossbar with a shot at 5:59 of the second period. Despite several chances for both teams, neither managed a goal in the second 20 minutes.

Allen had 23 saves for St. Louis, which lost for just the fifth time in regulation time on the road this season.

“They’re a quick team. They’re fast, they’ve got a fast group of top nine forwards obviously with a lot of skill, and they’ve got a quick goalie. They’re a tough team to beat,” Allen said of the Coyotes. “They’re definitely a team on the rise and we just didn’t have our ‘A’ game. We’ve had a good run, it was a good 2019 and we’re ready to turn the page and move on to a good second half.”

NOTES: Blues D Justin Faulk played his 600th career game. St. Louis has lost six of its last seven games to Arizona and has been outscored 25-11 in those games. Coyotes F Michael Grabner was scratched, missing his third game of the season. F Michael Chaput, called up from Tucson of the AHL on Monday, was also scratched, as was D Aaron Ness. C Derek Stepan played Tuesday and registered an assist after taking a jarring hit in the second period of last Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Dallas, leaving the game. The Coyotes saluted currently injured goaltender Darcy Kuemper, announcing his All-Star designation to the crowd in the first period.


St. Louis: At Colorado Thursday night.

Arizona: Hosts Anaheim Thursday night.


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