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game recap

Raanta, Coyotes end Blues' winning streak at eight

Makes 38 saves, Kessel breaks tie in third period for Arizona, which had lost three in row

by Alan Robinson / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Kessel puts Coyotes ahead in 3rd

STL@ARI: Kessel snaps home go-ahead goal

Phil Kessel snaps a shot that deflects in off Jake Allen's glove, giving the Coyotes a 2-1 lead in the 3rd period

  • 00:38 •

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Antti Raanta made 38 saves, and the Arizona Coyotes ended the St. Louis Blues' eight-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory at Gila River Arena on Tuesday. 

Phil Kessel scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period for the Coyotes (22-16-4), who had lost three in a row and five of their previous six at home.

"They're the Stanley Cup champion and we knew it was going to be a tough game," Coyotes forward Conor Garland said. "It's a big win for us. We know the style they play and we wanted to push back and just play fast."

 

[WATCH: All Blues vs. Coyotes highlights]

 

Arizona, which won its 1,300th game in its history, is 2-0-0 against St. Louis this season and 6-1-1 since the start of the 2017-18 season.

"They work well as a five-man unit defensively, they don't give up a lot of grade A scoring chances and their goalies play well, so it's always a tough game when you play them," said Blues forward Tyler Bozak, who scored a goal. "They really limit your second-chance opportunities, which is where you get a lot of goals in this League."

Video: STL@ARI: Steen, Bozak connect for goal

Jake Allen made 23 saves for the Blues (26-9-6), who had the opportunity to take over the top record in the NHL heading into the new year after the Washington Capitals lost 4-3 to the New York Islanders earlier Tuesday.

"In the last little stretch we've had a good run, we've won eight in a row and you're not going to win them all," Allen said. "We're ready to jump on to Colorado on Thursday, just take a breather tonight and get back to it."

Following a failed clearing attempt by Blues defenseman Justin Faulk, Lawson Crouse tapped the loose puck to Kessel, who skated in alone and scored off the glove of Allen and the right post to give Arizona a 2-1 lead at 7:20 of the third.

"We needed a bounce-back game and we came out to play, and I thought we played really well," said Kessel, who had scored one goal in his previous eight games. 

Nick Schmaltz scored from his knees into an empty net on the power play at 19:08 for the 3-1 final.

"We competed hard. It was a tough hockey game," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "We just didn't execute well enough and that's the bottom line."

Garland received a cross-ice pass from Alex Goligoski above the right circle on a power play before scoring with a slap shot at 8:05 of the first period to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead.

"I just tried to place [the shot]. The last game, I tried to hammer a shot and I missed the net, so I just took a little bit off and it worked this time," Garland said.

Bozak tied it 1-1 at 14:53. Alexander Steen carried the puck below goal line before dropping a pass to him near the edge of the crease for a one-timer. 

Both teams killed off extended power plays shortly after to keep the game tied. 

Arizona couldn't convert after Blues forward Ivan Barbashev was called for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct at 16:02 of the first, and St. Louis failed to score after Raanta (tripping) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (hooking) were called for penalties 12 seconds apart early in the second period.

"That's a team that hasn't lost for a long time. They've been 10 (points) ahead of everybody (in the Western Conference), so the 5-on-3 was huge," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "We made the key play. The last three, four or five games, we haven't gotten that play. We got the key play at the right moment and that's what good teams do."

Video: STL@ARI: Garland opens scoring with PPG

 

They said it

"If you told us at the start of the year we'd be here, we'd be happy, but you've got to keep improving. Every game is crucial, and you can't take any points for granted in this League, especially in our division, in our conference. A lot of teams are coming for us, we're the reigning champs." -- Blues goalie Jake Allen

"If you look at the really good hockey clubs, St. Louis and Washington, they just kind of methodically play the game. If you get out of your system, then they just capitalize on your mistakes. I thought we were, for the most part, pretty comfortable (in our system)." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet

 

Need to know

Allen had been 7-1-0 against Arizona. … Goligoski has at least 20 assists for the 11th consecutive season. … The Coyotes are 9-10-1 at home. … Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun had two assists for his seventh multipoint game in the NHL. … St. Louis is 18-0-4 when scoring first but 8-9-2 when allowing the opening goal.

 

What's next

Blues: At the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-A PLUS, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Video: Raanta makes 38 saves, Coyotes top Blues

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