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Blues 5, Coyotes 4 @NHLdotcom

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Stuck with the NHL's worst record, the St. Louis Blues still haven't given up.

"We had been totally outplayed in the first two periods, but it didn't matter," Scott Young said. "The score was 3-3, and if we went out and won a period, we win the game."

Aaron Downey and Jamal Mayers scored in the third period, and the Blues held on for a 5-4 victory over the slumping Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night.

The loss was the fourth straight for Phoenix, the second since coach Wayne Gretzky took a leave of absence. Gretzky left to be with his ailing mother, who died Monday night in Brantford, Ontario, and was honored by a moment of silence before the national anthem in this game.

Less than 4 minutes in, the game was stopped for 10 minutes when smoke in one of the Glendale Arena's kitchens set off a fire alarm, emptying much of the lower bowl.

St. Louis rookie Jason Bacashihua, who made his NHL debut in relief on Friday, made 33 saves to record his initial win in two starts. Young scored a power-play goal and assisted on two by Mike Sillinger, who played for Phoenix until he was traded to the Blues in March 2004.

"Any time you go back to a team that traded you, you kind of want to show them they made a mistake," Sillinger said.

Downey gave the Blues a 4-3 lead when he deflected a long slap shot by Eric Brewer past Curtis Joseph 3:16 into the final period, and Mayers created a two-goal cushion with 9:32 left by driving a rebound in behind Joseph on his second swat at the puck.

Associate coach Rick Tocchet, running the team in Gretzky's absence, pulled Joseph, who had only eight saves, in favor of Brian Boucher after Mayers' goal. But when St. Louis' Dale Weight, who had two assists, was penalized for roughing, Tocchet pulled Boucher as well with 4:34 to play, and the Coyotes responded to a 6-on-4 advantage with Mike Comrie's second goal with 3:58 left.

Phoenix's Jamie Lundmark got the puck over the goal line with 2:53 to play, but the play was blown dead, and Bacashihua, called up after the Blues waived Patrick Lalime on Dec. 12, was staunch in the final minutes.

"Cash played well," Young said. "Those were point-blank shots. They were quality chances, too. They weren't perimeter shots. They were rebounds, spot shots. They were in tight."

Geoff Sanderson and Lundmark also scored for Phoenix, and Derek Morris, Mike Johnson and Shane Doan had two assists each.

But Phoenix went 2-for-10 on power plays to the Blues' 3-for-4.

"I thought we were prepared to play, and they came up big," Tocchet said. "It's one of those things that you just don't want to let it slide any more."

Sanderson scored on a rebound 1:42 after the interuption, but Sillinger tied it with his deflection of a slap shot by Young with 3:13 left in the first period, converting on St. Louis' first power play.

Phoenix answered 36 seconds later, taking a 2-1 lead when Comrie threaded a wrist shot from the slot through a heavy traffic that kept Bacashihua from picking up the puck, but Sillinger tied it again 4:39 into the second. Goals by Lundmark and Young, sent the game into the third tied at 3.

"We let them have it," Comrie said. "It was there for us."

Notes: Tuesday was the first of two days of visitations for Phyllis Gretzky at a Brantford funeral home. Her funeral will take place Thursday morning at the Grace Anglican Church of Brantford. ... Sillinger took over Blues goal-scoring leadership from Dean McAmmond with 11. ... Coyotes LW Mike Leclerc had arthroscopic surgery to clean up debris in his knee, and will be out 10-14 days. His absence left the Coyotes with 18 skaters (12 forwards) and no healthy scratches for the game.

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