Phoenix Coyotes Fall Short at Home Against the St. Louis Blues

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 23: Taylor Pyatt #14 of the Phoenix Coyotes falls to the ice as he attempts to play the puck past Carlo Colaiacovo #28 of the St. Louis Blues during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on December 23, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Coyotes, fresh off a 2 – 0 roadtrip, looked to continue their revitalized success against the St. Louis Blues at Jobing.com Arena. Unfortunately, they were unable to get the win tonight. They played two very impressive periods and if things had been different in the third with some of the calls, it definitely could have gone the other way. The penalty kill continued its recent strong play by not allowing any Blues’ power play goals, but the power play unit wasn’t able to extend its streak to a fourth consecutive game with a goal.

The first period of play was pretty much all Coyotes, and although the score didn’t reflect it the Yotes had some great scoring chances that they failed to capitalize on during the scoreless period. There were some points where it looked like the Coyotes were going to take the lead (such as Daymond Langkow's redirection off the post missing a wide open net), but both teams failed to get onto the scoreboard. With 16 seconds left to go in the first Keith Yandle was called for a double minor for high sticking giving the Blues a power play until the end of the period.

The Blues started the 2nd with the power play, but a tripping penalty 42 seconds in brought the game to 4 on 4 for 2 minutes. The Yotes had a couple of shots on the 4 on 4 but they failed to capitalize, however they were able to kill off the rest of the double minor penalty to Yandle. The Coyotes got caught, though, just over 7 minutes into the second with Alexander Steen scoring a goal against Jason LaBarbera. The Coyotes and Shane Doan quickly bounced back with a goal of their own 44 seconds later, tying up the game. The Blues would retake their lead with just over a minute and a half left in the period with Matt D’Agostini scoring, leaving the Coyotes chasing the game at the start of the third.

The period opened with Martin Hanzal getting hit in the face by David Backes' stick, which left him down on the ice. The referees discussed the hit while Hanzal was being looked at, but they did not call a penalty. Shortly after this Jason Arnott was able to get a goal off a puck that got sent flying into the air, making the score 3-1 Blues. This seemed to be the momentum changer of the game with the Blues taking over control of the period. However, Yandle was able to convert a great pass from Raffi Torres for his fifth goal of the season with about 7 minutes left to play. The Coyotes started to take the play to the Blues, but David Schlemko was called for a very questionable hooking penalty with 2 minutes and 53 seconds to go, and even though they were able to kill the penalty they were unable to get a tying goal. I really don’t think that they should have called Schlemko on this, especially after the no call for Hanzal getting a stick to the face, and if there hadn’t been a penalty call the game may have gone a different way. [Jordan's note - it also seemed as if the refs missed a too many men on the ice call with about a minute left in the game that had the Coyotes, particularly Doan, irate on the bench.]

Coyotes remain in 3rd place in the division with 39 points, they they are 2 points behind division leader San Jose and Dallas, who each have 41 points after wins tonight.

Take-aways from the game:

  • The Coyotes Power Play which had gotten them points on the road trip didn’t really bring it to this game, including two off side calls in one Power Play
  • The Yotes got too many off-sides, it really slowed them down and kept them from building the momentum they needed.
  • Bad Line changes lead to the first two Blues’ goals. It’s definitely something they need to work on to not allow in the future.
  • Doan’s goal in response to Steen’s goal was great, I liked seeing the quick goal to tie it up, its something that I would like to see them doing in future games.
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