NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at St. Louis
(Friday, December 31st)
Final Score: St. Louis 4, Phoenix 3
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Alexander Steen scored the eventual game- winning goal, as the St. Louis Blues held off a late charge by Phoenix to secure a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes.
Brad Boyes scored the first of four consecutive St. Louis goals, while Barret Jackman added two assists. Jaroslav Halak stopped 30 shots in the Blues' fifth consecutive victory.
"It's a good feeling," Steen said. "It's a long year. We've had our ups and downs. We started off really hot, we were first overall in the league for a while, then fell down. Now we're climbing back up. We've got to find a way to maintain this, now."
Phoenix made it a close by rallying for three goals in the third period. Shane Doan scored his second of the game inside the final minute, but the Coyotes couldn't net the equalizer as they ended December with a 6-6-2 record.
Ilya Bryzgalov allowed all four goals on 22 shots in the setback. Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said that, in order to get wins, his team is looking to capitalize on a few more chances, get a few more saves and make fewer mistakes, and Friday that didn't happen.
"Our margin for error is very slim," Tippett said. "On every given night, you've got to try to play as well as you can in all those areas, and right now we're just not there."
Boyes got the Blues on the board at the 14:08 mark of the first period. On a St. Louis rush, Steen carried the puck up the left side, then passed to Boyes at the inside edge of the right circle. Boyes deked once before beating Bryzgalov between the pads.
A turnover in the Phoenix end led to Erik Johnson's shorthanded goal 7:23 into the second period, and Alex Pietrangelo's power-play marker with 1:29 left in the stanza made it a 3-0 game.
After Steen scored at the 3:05 mark of the third, Phoenix started its comeback.
Doan got the Coyotes' first at 6:20, and they didn't score again until Lauri Korpikoski lit the lamp with a wrister with 1:27 to play.
Doan brought Phoenix within one with 21 seconds left, but Halak held steady from there to secure the Blues' win.
"Good thing we didn't give up any more, because that would be a disaster," Halak said.
Doan's first goal was his 700th career point...Scottie Upshall had two assists for the Coyotes...St. Louis is 4-0 on its five-game homestand, which concludes Sunday against Dallas...Phoenix plays at Minnesota on Sunday.
01/01 01:32:05 ET