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Final Look: Key Plays, Kessel's Game- Winner Push Coyotes Past Blues

Raanta makes 38 saves, Garland nets his team-leading 14th goal, and Kessel notches the game-winner in the third

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

KEY PLAYS, KESSEL'S GAME-WINNER PUSH COYOTES PAST BLUES

The Coyotes defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues for the second time this season, skating to a 3-1 win on Tuesday night at Gila River Arena.

The victory snapped the Coyotes' three-game losing streak and also snapped the Blues' eight-game win streak, which entering the night, stood as the longest active win streak in the NHL.

"Nobody was panicking, it was our first three-game losing streak," head coach Rick Tocchet said of the Coyotes' approach. "We don't really listen to the outside noise, we just worry about our game, the details of our game."

And those details paid off.

"I felt like we believed we were going to win the game, and that's what we need - is that belief."

Conor Garland scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with 11:55 left to play in the first period, taking advantage of a blinding Carl Soderberg screen to drive home a slap shot from the right point, registering the first of Arizona's two power play goals of the night.

The Blues responded to tie the game, 1-1, with just over five minutes to play in the opening frame.

Neither club found the back of the net in second period.

The Coyotes were ferocious on the forecheck to open the third, spending an enormous amount of time in St. Louis' zone, and their persistence translated into a late-game lead.

Phil Kessel , the beneficiary of a Jakob Chychrun keep-in and a Lawson Crouse chip pass, walked in alone to score his ninth goal of the season with 12:40 left in regulation, giving the Coyotes a 2-1 lead.

Nick Schmaltz added an empty net goal with 51 seconds left on the clock to secure the Coyotes' 3-1 win.

Arizona kept St. Louis' power play off the board, including the killing of a 5-on-3 situation early in the second. The Blues came into the night with the NHL's fifth-best power play.

Antti Raanta made 38 saves in the win, matching his third-highest single-game save total of the season thus far.

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TRACKING IT

GAME #42: ARIZONA (3) vs. ST. LOUIS (1)

  • SOG: ARI - 26, STL - 39
  • PP: ARI - 2/4, STL - 0/4

ARIZONA SCORING:

ST. LOUIS SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"I felt like we believed we were going to win the game, and that's what we need, is that belief."

Rick Tocchet, on Tuesday's 3-1 win

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Antti Raanta's 38-save performance

Starting his third game in four nights, Antti Raanta showed no signs of wear or fatigue, sharp from start-to-finish as he stopped 38 of the 39 shots the Blues fired his way, including a number of Grade-A looks.

Raanta's best sequence of the night came late in the second period when he denied Mackenzie MacEachern's front-net redirect and flashed his left pad to turn away Jacob de la Rose's put-back attempt, keeping the score tied, 1-1, with just over three minutes to play in the middle frame.

"He kept us in there and he made the big saves," Phil Kessel said of his goaltender. "When he and Kuemps do that, they win us a lot of games."

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Phil Kessel's game-winning goal

The Coyotes hemmed St. Louis in its own zone for much of the first half of the third period, applying sustained pressure on multiple shifts.

It finally paid off for the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal when Jakob Chychrun stuffed a Blues clearing attempt and chipped to Lawson Crouse, who found Phil Kessel alone behind St. Louis coverage.

Kessel collected from Crouse and buried a shot that beat Jake Allen's glove side, banked off the post and into the net to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead with 12:40 left to play in regulation.

"That's huge for Phil," Rick Tocchet said. "I've seen it a million times in Pittsburgh, so this is the stuff you love to see, and hopefully there are many more to come for him. He skated hard tonight, I'm really glad for him getting that goal, that was nice for him."

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PHOTO FINISH

Stretching for the save. Antti Raanta moves laterally to deny St. Louis' Alexander Steen of a prime scoring chance in the second period Tuesday night, making one of his 38 saves on the evening to help the Coyotes to a 3-1 win over the Blues at Gila River Arena. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images)

Lead Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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