Blues

Blues Hold Off Coyotes 4-3

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St. Louis Blues Patrik Berglund (L) fights off Phoenix Coyotes Keith Yandle in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 31, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis Blues Patrik Berglund (L) fights off Phoenix Coyotes Keith Yandle in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 31, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – Alex Steen had a goal and an assist, Jaroslav Halak stopped 30 shots and the St. Louis Blues won their fifth straight game, holding off the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 on Friday night.

Brad Boyes, Erik Johnson and Alex Pietrangelo added goals and Barret Jackman had two assists to stake the Blues to a 4-0 lead early in the third period.

Shane Doan had two goals for Phoenix, the first at 6:20 of the third period to end Halak’s shutout streak at 129 minutes, 29 seconds. Halak also has shutout streaks this season of 160:08 and 153:03.

Lauri Korpikoski also scored for the Coyotes.

Despite being outshot 14-6 in the first period, the Blues grabbed the lead when Boyes converted a cross-ice feed from Steen and beat Ilya Bryzgalov with a shot through the goalie’s leg pads with 5:52 left.

Johnson’s short-handed goal 7:23 into the second period put the Blues up 2-0. Backes drove hard to the net, got a shot off that Johnson collected in the right circle and snapped past Bryzgalov.

Pietrangelo’s shot from the top of the blue line on the power play got through Bryzgalov as Backes was setting a screen in the slot to give the Blues a 3-0 lead with 1:31 left in the second.

Early in the third, Steen picked off an errant pass in the Blues’ zone and skated in on a 2-on-1 with Eric Brewer and beat Bryzgalov with a low shot to the stick side.

Doan put the Coyotes on the board by crashing the net and backhanding a shot that squirted through Halak’s pads and break the shutout. Phoenix made it interesting, with Korpikowski scoring from the slot with 1:27 remaining and Doan tipping in a goal with 20.9 seconds left.

NOTES: Halak faced the Coyotes for the first time in his career. … Steen has at least a point in 12 of 15 games. … The Blues winning streak is two off a season-best seven-game winning streak from Oct. 22-Nov. 7. … Coyotes C Martin Hanzal (lower-body), LW Taylor Pyatt (upper-body) and RW Radim Vrbata (lower-body) returned to the lineup. … Since returning from injury Nov. 21, Doan has 20 points in 18 games. He also has 44 points in 59 career games against St. Louis.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press

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