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Clayton Keller debuts in hometown as Arizona Coyotes are defeated by St. Louis Blues

Anthony DeAngelo scored to keep the rookie points tally growing but the Blues were too classy for the Coyotes overall.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Coyotes have now lost to the St. Louis Blues 10 meetings in a row, with their last win coming on 11/12/13.

The highly anticipated debut of Clayton Keller neither failed to deliver nor lived up to its hype, but rather Keller did his best to not look out of place.

Unfortunately, Keller’s debut nor his ‘energizing’ presence could get the Arizona Coyotes’ out of their current slump as they managed to only score once for the 3rd game in a row while the St. Louis Blues cruised past them to the tune of 4 goals to 1.

Scoring Summary

First Period

No scoring in the first as each team took 5 shots on goal as the Coyotes successfully killed 2 penalties.

Second Period

1-0 St. Louis - The Blues move the puck down low and behind the goal line where Alexander Steen draws everybody’s attention. With the Coyote’s focused on behind the net, Jaden Schwartz sneaks in front of Mike Smith and one times home a beautiful feed from Steen still behind the net. Assists to Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko at 7:53.

2-0 St. Louis - Nail Yakupov comes in with the puck and tries to make a move on Anthony DeAngelo. DeAngelo plays the puck well and knocks it away from Yakupov but unfortunately the Blues had Alex Pietrangelo trailing the play as the loose puck falls right on the end of his stick near the right face off circle. Pietrangelo doesn’t wait long and shoots the puck while it’s still rolling on its side before going in past Mike Smith. Assists to Yakupov and Alexander Steen at 12:28.

Third Period

2-1 St. Louis - After a huge save early in the period by Mike Smith, the Coyotes go the other way with a give and go play between Anthony DeAngelo and Radim Vrbata. Upon receiving the puck back, DeAngelo winds up a big slap shot that goes straight into the top of the net over Jake Allen. Assists to DeAngelo and Alex Goligoski at 1:01.

3-1 St. Louis - After Connor Murphy is tied up behind the net with another Blue and two Coyotes move to cover Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz scores his second goal of the night dangling the puck past Mike Smith all alone out in front. Assists to Tarasenko and Alexander Steen at 10:06.

4-1 St. Louis - After Coyotes collide in their own offensive zone, the Blues rush the other way with a 3 on 1 advantage against Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Mike Smith and OEL do everything within their power to stop a tic-tac-toe play but a lucky bounce gives the Blues an even greater edge and allows Vladimir Tarasenko to add a goal to his night. Assists to Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen at 18:11.

Three Answers

  1. Will the Coyotes be able to score? Barely. Arizona now have scored only 3 goals in their last 3 games and have scored once on the power play in the past 9 games. The offensive issues that plagued the 2016 half of the season have returned to haunt the end of the 2017 half.
  2. So how about them young guys? Anthony DeAngelo got on the board for his 5th goal of the season and made sure that the youth movement was a positive note for the night yet again.
  3. What will happen in Clayton Keller’s first game? Keller looked good out there during his 14:09 minutes of ice time. Give him sometime to gel with his line mates (and also for his recently returned center Burmistrov to shake off the rust) and his first point won’t be far away.

Players of the Game

Arizona - Luke Schenn - Finished the night with 2 shots on goal, 2 blocks and a massive 9 hits, doing everything within his power to get the Coyotes going.

St. Louis - Jaden Schwartz - 2 goals on the night and an assist for 3 points and a +/- of +4. Brutalized the Coyotes’ defense.

Paw Prints

  • For more on the St. Louis Blues check out St. Louis Game Time.
  • Making way for the debut Clayton Keller and the return of Alexander Burmistrov, the Coyotes scratches list reached an all-season high of 6 players.
  • Shane Doan and Kevin Connauton remain sidelined with injuries, while Zbynek Michalek, Anthony Duclair, Teemu Pekkarinen and Peter Holland were all healthy scratches.
  • Prior to this game, Alexander Burmistrov had been out injured since February 28 after being wheeled off the ice after a big against the Boston Bruins.
  • Keller made his debut for the Arizona Coyotes playing as a winger on a line alongside Burmistrov and Fischer.
  • There couldn't have been a more fitting location for Keller to make his NHL debut in as he grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis. Both his first and second NHL career games could be played against the team he grew up watching as a kid.
  • Prior to tonight’s game, Mike Smith hadn’t won since March 13 against the Colorado Avalanche. Tonight his losing streak was extended to 0-5-1.
  • Tonight 7 rookies suited up for the Coyotes with 4 of them still teenagers:
Arizona’s Rookies 3.27.17
Fox Sports Arizona
  • Prior to tonight’s game, St. Louis goaltender Jake Allen was undefeated against the Coyotes with 6 wins, a 1 goal against average and a .962 save percentage when playing Arizona. His winning streak against the Desert Dogs was extended to 7 games tonight as he once again only allowed one goal against Arizona.

Looking Ahead

Part two of the home and home series against the St. Louis Blues is on Wednesday night. Puck drop is at 7:30pm Arizona time at Gila River Arena. Additionally the game can be viewed on SN360 and Fox Sports Arizona or tuned into on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM. But get on down to witness Clayton Keller’s home debut in Arizona!