NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at St. Louis
(Thursday, November 19th)
Final Score: St. Louis 3, Phoenix 2 (OT)
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Erik Johnson scored the game-winning goal only 17 seconds into overtime on a spectacular end-to-end rush as the St. Louis Blues earned a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes at Scottrade Center.
The big defenseman gathered the puck deep in the Blues end, worked his way up ice, then cut into the middle slot before firing a wrist shot past a surprised Ilya Bryzgalov for the game winner.
"I just wanted to skate and create room for myself," said Johnson. "I just cut to the middle...luckily it went in."
Keith Tkachuk and T.J. Oshie each notched a goal and an assist for the Blues, who snapped a brief two-game slide. It was only their second win in the last nine contests overall. Chris Mason was stellar between the pipes, turning aside 34-of-36 shots.
Radim Vrbata and Vernon Fiddler tallied for Phoenix, which was unable to build off a 3-2 win at Minnesota on Wednesday. The Coyotes have dropped four of their last six. Bryzgalov made 28 saves.
"It was the second game for a second day so it was a little hard," said Vrbata. "Towards the end we had a little heavy legs, but we were just missing that one goal."
With Phoenix ahead 2-1, Oshie evened things 2:35 into the third when he took a pass from David Backes and made a nifty wraparound move to get the puck around Bryzgalov and in.
The Coyotes continued to have numerous chances to break the deadlock throughout the frame, but Mason was solid down the stretch and forced the contest into overtime.
Phoenix opened the scoring 3:22 into the game when Shaun Heshka pinched in from his point position and flipped a weak shot on net that hit Vrbata in front and got past Mason.
Tkachuk then took a center-ice pass from Oshie, skated down the right side and muscled the puck home from in close to tie things at 6:19. The play was briefly reviewed, but it was determined that Tkachuk didn't use a kicking motion to score and the goal was upheld.
Fiddler worked a perfect give-and-go with Taylor Pyatt and deposited the puck in the net 1:58 into the middle stanza for a 2-1 Coyotes lead.
The Blues improved to 1-2 against the Coyotes this season, with Phoenix notching an overtime victory at home on October 15 and then posting a 2-0 decision at St. Louis on October 29. Despite the loss, the Coyotes have taken six of 11 overall in the series and they've won seven of their last 10 in St. Louis...Phoenix continued to play with a depleted blue line, as Kurt Sauer (headaches), Zbynek Michalek (lower body) and Ed Jovanovski (lower body) all missed the contest.
11/20 00:38:07 ET