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game recap

Blues keep pace in Central with win against Coyotes

Remain one point out of third place, two behind first wild card in West

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues stayed one point out of third place in the Central Division with a 4-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes at Scottrade Center on Monday.

The Blues (41-28-6) are one point behind the Nashville Predators in the division. Nashville defeated the New York Islanders 3-1 on Monday. St. Louis remained two points behind the Calgary Flames for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with seven games remaining. The Flames defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Monday. 

Jaden Schwartz had two goals and an assist, Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists, Alexander Steen had an NHL career-high four assists, and Jake Allen made 21 saves. He is 7-0-0 against the Coyotes.

"I thought after the first period, we started working a lot harder," Steen said. "I think we've had our fair share of chances in the recent last few games here and have hit posts and goalies made some saves, but tonight, we kind of turned it in our favor and got some bounces for us."

 

WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Blues highlights

 

The Schwartz-Steen-Tarasenko line combined for 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and got the Blues going after a slow start.

"We weren't good in the first [period], that's for sure, and what you hope is you go in and you challenge the group to be better from that point," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "What you hope is the response starts from your leaders, and we got that."

Anthony DeAngelo scored and Mike Smith made 24 saves for Arizona (27-40-9), which is 1-5-1 in the past seven games and ended a five-game road trip 1-4-0.

Video: ARI@STL: Tarasenko beats Smith with rebound tally

"I think their game turned up a little bit [in the second period] and we didn't have the ability to turn it up," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "A good team like that, we don't have that much room for error with some of those mistakes we were making and end up in the back of our net, and then you're chasing the game."

Schwartz's third goal in four games came off a pass by Steen at 7:53 of the second period to put the Blues ahead 1-0.

Alex Pietrangelo tied his NHL career-high with his 12th goal at 12:28 to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead.

DeAngelo made it 2-1 1:01 into the third period.

Schwartz's second of the game came at 10:06 to make it 3-1, and Tarasenko scored at 18:11 to make it 4-1.

Video: ARI@STL: DeAngelo beats Allen with one-time snipe

 

Goal of the game

Schwartz scored his second goal when Steen got around Connor Murphy, made a pass to Tarasenko in the slot, who made a quick backhand pass to a wide open Schwartz in the slot.

Video: ARI@STL: Schwartz dekes, roofs spectacular goal

 

Saves of the game

Allen made consecutive saves on Christian Dvorak with 4:46 left in the second period, then extended the glove on Max Domi's rebound with 4:41 left to keep it 2-0.

Video: ARI@STL: Allen lunges with his glove to rob Domi

 

Highlight of the game

It could have been a bigger night for the Schwartz-Steen-Tarasenko line, but Smith denied Steen's effort with an outstretched glove with 19:33 remaining in the game, moments before DeAngelo got the Coyotes back in it to make it 2-1.

Video: ARI@STL: Smith extends his glove to stone Steen

 

Unsung performance of the game

Blues left wing Nail Yakupov extended his assist streak to three games, had three shots and was plus-1 in 14:16 ice time.

"He's playing with a real purpose," Yeo said of Yakupov. "I think his work ethic is very noticeable."

 

They said it

"It's something I'll never forget. He's an unbelievable player. He's a star in the League and someone I definitely look up to." -- Coyotes left wing Clayton Keller on Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, who tapped Keller on the pads on the opening faceoff to congratulate him on his first NHL game

 

"It's that time of the year. Everyone knows how big these points are and everyone wants to keep moving up and there's teams on everyone's heels, that's just how it is this time of year." -- Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz on the standings

 

Need to know

The Blues have won 10 straight and have points in 14 straight (13-0-1) against the Coyotes. … Arizona left wing Clayton Keller, selected by the Coyotes with the No. 7 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, made his debut. A native of Swansea, Illinois, Keller finished with 14:09 of ice time.

 

What's next

Coyotes: Host the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-A, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Blues: At the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-A, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Schwartz, Allen lead Blues past Coyotes, 4-1

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