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Blues handle Coyotes, end three-game losing streak

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- Kevin Shattenkirk and Alexander Steen each had a goal and an assist to help the St. Louis Blues end a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Scottrade Center on Tuesday.

Vladimir Tarasenko and David Backes scored for St. Louis (16-8-4), which was 0-2-1 in the past three games. Jake Allen made 22 saves; he is 5-0-0 in his career against Arizona.

The Blues scored more than three goals for the first time in 14 games and are 9-0-1 against the Coyotes in the past 10 games.

"I thought our start was good," Steen said. "I know we didn't have any shots for a while, but right from our first shift that was in their zone for about a minute and a half, and then we killed two big penalties. You have to look at that as a pretty big positive and a good start to your game.

"Then after that we started to get into the rhythm of things, and I think for the 60 minutes, it was solid effort. I liked the tempo where we played at tonight. It was a lot quicker than we have in the last little while and that's a big part as to why we won this one."

Steve Downie scored for the Coyotes (13-14-1), who have lost five in a row, all on the road. They were outscored 24-10 on the trip.

"It's very discouraging going 0-for-5 on a road trip, so I think that's how everybody feels right now," Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone said.

Trailing 1-0, the Blues took the lead in the second period when Tarasenko tied it with his 16th of the season and Steen scored shorthanded.

Tarasenko took a pass from Magnus Paajarvi, who led Tarasenko in alone on goalie Mike Smith with a spin pass from inside the Coyotes blue line before he scored on a wrist shot 5:08 into the period.

"He called it before I got the puck from [Jay Bouwmeester]," Paajarvi said of Tarasenko. "I looked up a little bit and he came down 200 miles an hour and I just tried getting it to an area where he can get it. It was a nice goal."

Steen gave the Blues a 2-1 lead with 8.8 seconds left. Shattenkirk blocked an Oliver Ekman-Larsson shot then sprung out of the zone 2-on-1, and his cross-ice feed gave Steen a chance to step into a one-time slap shot through Smith. It was the Blues' first shorthanded goal of the season and the first goal for the Blues other than by Tarasenko in 145:18.

"It did feel good," said Steen, who has a six-game point streak against Arizona with three goals and six assists. "It was a good time in the game to get one too. I thought we'd been battling hard and to get one like that was nice. It was a great pass by [Shattenkirk], a terrific pass by [Shattenkirk]."

Shattenkirk said, "I think right away when I looked up and saw it was a 2-on-1, I was able to settle in a little bit and realize that I had some support. ... The crazy thing was how well [Steen] waited on it and was able to just be patient with it and let it fall on his stick. He gets a lot of good wood on it."

The Coyotes thought they tied the game with 2.6 seconds left when they took the faceoff, got into the Blues zone quickly and Anthony Duclair scored, but Tobias Rieder crashed into Allen after being tripped up by Alex Pietrangelo. Referee Steve Kozari immediately waved off the goal.

"If there would have been a penalty on Rieder, then the goal would have counted, but there was no penalty called," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "So the goaltender could not make (a play on the puck) ... Rieder took [Allen] out. So in looking at it, it was probably the right call."

Shattenkirk finished a Jori Lehtera backhand pass through the slot and beat Smith 6:53 into the third period for a 3-1 lead. Backes scored an empty-net goal with 1:02 remaining.

Downie's third goal in five games against the Blues came off a wrist shot from Jordan Martinook, Downie, parked in front of Allen, had his initial deflection stopped but he collected the rebound and scored 12:12 into the first period.

St. Louis had three shots on goal in the first, nine in the second, and 10 in the third.

"We had (18) attempts at the net (in the first period), which is the start of it," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We've got to get back into the 60s again between shots blocked, attempted shots, shots on goal. We've got to be in the 60s and we've been sitting in the 40s. We got closer tonight. The third period was obviously our best period."

The Coyotes scratched center Martin Hanzal with a lower-body injury; he's day-to-day.

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