NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Tuesday, December 20th
(All times eastern)
St. Louis Blues (6-19-4) at Phoenix Coyotes (16-15-2), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes will try to halt a three-game skid
tonight, as they take to the ice against the St. Louis Blues without head
coach Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky's mother, Phyllis, died Monday night after a battle with lung cancer.
She was 64. Wayne Gretzky announced on Saturday that he was taking an
indefinite leave from the team to be with his ailing mother.
Associate coach Rick Tocchet assumed the Coyotes head coach responsibilities
in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. Tocchet
will serve as the coach until Gretzky returns behind the bench.
On Saturday, Craig Conroy scored a goal and had two assists to lead the Kings
Brian Boucher allowed four goals on 37 shots in his first start of the year
for Phoenix. The backup goaltender had been sidelined all season with a groin
Defenseman Paul Mara scored the lone goal for the Coyotes.
Phoenix begins a two-game homestand tonight and is 9-6-1 at Glendale Arena
this year. The Coyotes will also welcome the Sharks on Thursday.
St. Louis has dropped two in a row and five of its last six games. The Blues
were last in action Saturday when they were handed a 5-2 loss by the visiting
Philadelphia Flyers. R.J. Umberger and Mike Knuble each scored two goals to
Aaron Downey and Scott Young each scored for the Blues, who lost for the
eighth time in their last 10 games. St. Louis was also using a backup
goaltender, Jason Bacashihua, after placing Curtis Sanford on injured reserve
with a hip injury. Bacashihua stopped 22-of-26 shots in the loss.
The Blues also put forwards Dallas Drake and Keith Tkachuk on injured reserve
before the game. Drake has a back injury, while Tkachuk is suffering from a
St. Louis is just 2-8-2 as the visiting team this season.
The Coyotes and Blues have played once this season in Phoenix and the home
team pulled out an overtime win. The home team is 5-0-1 (1 tie) in the last
six meetings between these teams.
12/20 10:20:20 ET