Coyotes aim to get best of Blues again

League: NHL

Posted on: 09 Nov, 2023 at 02:15 AM

Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Coyotes played one of their best games of the season while beating the St. Louis Blues 6-2 back on Oct. 19.

They will seek a repeat performance when they visit the Blues Thursday.

Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz and Sean Durzi each had a goal and an assist in that earlier victory in St. Louis, while goaltender Connor Ingram made 24 saves.

Keller, who grew up in the St. Louis area, has 11 goals and 15 assists in 25 career games against the Blues. Schmaltz has 11 goals and 20 assists in 30 games against St. Louis.

The Coyotes, who are 3-1-1 in their past five games, are coming into the rematch on the heels of a 4-3 shootout victory over the Seattle Kraken Tuesday. Arizona trailed 1-0 and 3-2 in that game but battled back to force overtime and the shootout.

"Even when you don't have your A-game, you need to find a way to crawl in and dig deep and find a way to win the game, and I think we did that," Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. "We battled and crawled back."

Coyotes center Barrett Hayton, a 19-goal scorer last season, scored his first goal of the 2023-24 campaign in that victory.

"I'm a competitor, I want to score, I want to produce, without a doubt," Hayton said. "You've got to trust the process, stick with what you're doing, and I feel I can impact the game without (being) on the score sheet. But obviously, that was nice."

The Blues won the first two games on their current four-game homestand, then suffered a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday. St. Louis started well in that setback but faded in the second period, failing to muster a third-period push.

"The second period, we needed more," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "We needed to come out with a real purpose in the second period. We didn't do that. To me, that's the difference in the game.

"We didn't do things quick enough or hard enough in the second period. (The Jets) broke a lot of plays up on us coming out of our zone, through the neutral zone. Just weren't direct enough, not hard enough plays. Didn't really play on our toes in the second period like I would like."

The Blues want to regain the form they showed while beating the New Jersey Devils 4-1 and Montreal Canadiens 6-3 over the weekend.

"We've got to play smarter, just play down low, how we played the two games before," Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich said.

Robert Thomas has scored a goal in four straight games for the Blues, and captain Brayden Schenn has two goals and two assists in his past two games.

But Buchnevich has just one goal in nine games this season.

"I'm just awful. I'm just awful all season," Buchnevich said. "I don't know what to say. Guys create chances for me, but I can't finish. I don't know. Hopefully one (will) go in. I just have to play better and help the team. Now I don't create anything, doesn't really help the team. Got to find a way."

--Field Level Media