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game recap

Blues rally to defeat Coyotes

St. Louis moves into first-place tie in Central

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

Brodziak's shorthanded goal

ARI@STL: Brodziak ties game with shorthanded goal

4/4/16: Kyle Brodziak beaks away from the defender for a breakaway, flring the puck top-shelf for a shorthanded goal to even the game at 2

  • 01:02 •

ST. LOUIS -- Despite so many key components missing throughout the season on a roster ravaged by injuries, the St. Louis Blues have given themselves a chance at winning a second straight Central Division title.

The Blues pulled into a tie for first when they overcame a two-goal deficit by scoring five unanswered goals and defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 at Scottrade Center on Monday. 

The Blues (48-23-9) tied the Dallas Stars with 105 points and two games remaining for each. St. Louis leads the Chicago Blackhawks by six points for second place.

Video: ARI@STL: Tarasenko puts Blues up with screened shot

The Blues earlier in the day shut down captain David Backes (lower-body injury) and goalie Jake Allen (lower body) for the rest of the regular season after they were injured Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche. They will be re-evaluated after the season ends. 

Backes and Allen joined a list this season that's included left wing Alexander Steen, goalie Brian Elliott, rookie forward Robby Fabbri, left wing Jaden Schwartz, center Patrik Berglund, defensemen Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester and Kevin Shattenkirk and center Paul Stastny.  

"It's depth, it's character," said Pietrangelo, who had two assists. "[Blues general manager Doug Armstrong] put this thing together. You see the acquisitions, it all happens for a reason. I don't think we've played a full game yet with our full lineup. It just goes to show what we're capable of when we have everybody back." 

Video: ARI@STL: Brouwer tips in Pietrangelo's shot

Kyle Brodziak scored twice, Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and assist in the third period, Troy Brouwer and Berglund scored for St. Louis, which got 25 saves from Elliott, who won his 10th straight decision. The Blues won for the sixth time this season (6-19-3) when trailing after two periods.

The win was the Blues' eighth straight against the Coyotes; they're 11-0-1 against Arizona in the past 12. 

Antoine Vermette and Anthony Duclair scored first-period goals, and Mike Smith made 21 saves for the Coyotes (35-37-7), who play at Chicago on Tuesday and end their season with a four-game trip. Arizona lost for the second time in regulation (21-2-2) when leading after two.

"You know they're a good team and they're gonna come back," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said of the Blues. "I thought we were alright in the first, moved the puck, we were opportunistic, but once the penalties start, it took us out of rhythm."

Video: ARI@STL: Duclair capitalizes off turnover for goal

Trailing 2-1 in the third period, the Blues scored four unanswered goals. 

Brodziak scored his sixth goal and third shorthanded after picking up Pietrangelo's clearing attempt. The puck hit the arm of Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Brodziak raced past him and beat Smith top-shelf with a wrist shot 1:28 into the third to tie the game 2-2.

It was the goal that supplied life for the Blues, or was it?

"No, I think really the whole second period, we really started to find our game," Brodziak said. "We got a fortunate bounce on the penalty kill and turned out to be a goal, but it really started earlier than that. We really started turning our game around in the second period.

"We weren't as sharp as we needed to be [in the first period]. Sometimes that happens. You come home late last night, second game of back-to-back, but the energy in the room after the first was really good. Guys just got ourselves refocused and I thought as a group did a really good job in the second period finding our game back."

Video: ARI@STL: Vermette opens the scoring on the rebound

Tarasenko tied his career-high with his 37th goal set last season when he went three-quarters length of the ice and beat Smith with a wrist shot from the far right circle at 10:42, then set up Berglund for a slap shot from the right circle on the power play with seven minutes to play to double the Blues' lead at 4-2. 

Tarasenko has a six-game point streak and 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in the past 15 games. 

Brodziak beat Smith short side with a slap shot from the right circle with 50.7 seconds remaining to make it 5-2. 

Brouwer scored and picked up his sixth point in four games and 14th in 13 games to cut the Arizona lead to 2-1 on the power play when he was able to deflect Pietrangelo's wrist shot from the right circle at 7:36 of the second period. 

The Blues, who outshot the Coyotes 11-4 in the second, had their best chance to tie with 2:08 remaining but Smith was able to get his right pad across.

Video: ARI@STL: Berglund nets Tarasenko's nice feed

Arizona took advantage of a tired, weary and shorthanded Blues team with goals by Vermette and Duclair in the first period.

Vermette made it 1-0 when he backhanded a rebound of a Connor Murphy shot over Elliott, who couldn't handle Murphy's knuckling shot, at 3:28, and Duclair, who has seven points in seven games, beat Elliott with another backhand after the Blues lost the puck in the neutral zone that created an odd-man rush at 13:08. Alex Tanguay assisted on both goals.

"We didn't start so well; I don't even know how to describe it," said Elliott, who didn't accompany the Blues to Colorado on Sunday in order to rest for the start Monday. "We managed to kind of catch ourselves and the guys really pulled it through. They had a tough game [Sunday] night and back-to-back is not easy playing the three periods the way we did. We got stronger as the game went on. We let in the first two, but five unanswered, we'll take that."

The Blues end their season with games at Chicago Thursday and home against the Washington Capitals Saturday. The Stars host the Avalanche Thursday and Nashville Predators Saturday.

Video: Elliott's great night propels Blues to victory

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