GLENDALE, Ariz. - Rookie Daniel Winnik's first NHL goal stood as the game-winner in the Phoenix Coyotes' 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues in the teams' season opener on Thursday night.
Winnik's converted a centring pass from Martin Hanzal at 7:30 of the third period to extend the Coyotes' lead to 3-0, just 12 seconds after Mike York scored Phoenix's second goal.
Keith Tkachuk and Brad Boyes scored late in the third to pull the Blues to 3-2, but the Coyotes hung on for the win.
Phoenix overcame a high-sticking penalty against defenceman Ed Jovanovski with 1:06 remaining, and fought off the Blues' 6-on-4 advantage after St. Louis pulled goalie Manny Legace for an extra skater.
Mikael Tellqvist stopped 22 shots for Phoenix, and Legace finished with 31 saves for the Blues.
Tkachuk got the Blues on the board 28 seconds after Winnik's goal, completing a spree where the teams scored three goals in 40 seconds.
The Coyotes created a 3-0, third period lead when he scored twice within 12 seconds. Mike York converted a centring pass from Stephen Reinprecht into his first of the season at 7:18 of the third. Then, Winnik took Hanzal's centring pass and redirected the puck behind Legace.
Legace stopped quality scoring opportunities from Shane Doan in the first period, and Mike Zigomanis and York in the second. Plus, the Coyotes' Peter Mueller hit the left post during a second-period power play.
Paul Kariya nearly scored twice for St. Louis in the second period, but was stopped in close by Tellqvist both times.
Keith Ballard gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead when he converted his own rebound with a backhander from his knees at 12:15 of the second period.
Notes: Phoenix opened the season without two regulars. Defenceman Zbynek Michalek broke his left hand in practice on Wednesday and is out four to six weeks. His streak of 178 consecutive games played ended. Left wing Josh Gratton, out with a broken figure sustained during the Coyotes first pre-season game, is listed day-to-day. ... Blues defenceman Erik Johnson, the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, made his NHL debut. He was paired with Barret Jackman. Johnson picked up his first NHL point when he assisted on Boyes' goal.