Coyotes snap losing streak to Blues with 5-2 win
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Christian Dvorak had no idea the two goals he scored Saturday night helped the Arizona Coyotes end a long run of futility against the St. Louis Blues.
“Wow, we lost 12 in a row to them?” Dvorak said. “That makes this even better.”
Dvorak sparked a four-goal first period, Antti Raanta made 25 saves and the Coyotes beat St. Louis 5-2 for their first win in the series since a 3-2 overtime triumph on Nov. 12, 2013. The 12-game skid was tied for the longest current streak of its kind in the NHL; Chicago has won 12 in a row over Buffalo.
Zac Rinaldo, Brendan Perlini and Christian Fischer also scored for Arizona, which had lost five straight overall.
Brayden Schenn and Alexander Steen scored for the Blues, who had won two straight following a seven-day break.
Raanta, who has allowed two or fewer goals in five of his last six starts, also was unaware of Arizona’s losing streak to the Blues.
“It’s a good thing to find that out after the game because if you know about it before, you’re thinking about it during the game and that’s not good,” he said.
The Coyotes scored four times in the opening 13:15. Dvorak converted back-to-back goals in a span of 3:04 to chase goalie Carter Hutton, who gave up three goals on 12 shots. Perlini capped the blitz, which marked the Coyotes’ highest-scoring first period of the season.
Arizona lost its previous three games in extra time and has the worst record in the NHL at 11-28-9.
“We haven’t been playing bad and we haven’t had much to show for it,” Dvorak said. “But, I thought we outworked them early and often and got what we wanted in a tough barn.”
Clayton Keller added two assists for the Coyotes, who had a season-high 44 shots on goal. Raanta improved to 7-12-5.
Arizona took control right from the opening faceoff with goals by Rinaldo and Dvorak in the opening 4:02.
“The execution was good right from the start,” Fischer said. “We came out and did what we had to. Now, we’ve got to keep that going forward.”
The Blues have lost their last two home games, including a 7-4 setback to Florida on Jan. 9.
“This was an embarrassment for us and for our fans,” forward Vladimir Tarasenko said. “We have a day tomorrow to figure out what’s going on.”
St. Louis coach Mike Yeo was disappointed in the performance after the Blues won back-to-back games in Toronto and Ottawa earlier in the week.
“To be honest, there’s no explanation for this kind of effort,” Yeo said.
NOTES: Arizona D Oliver Ekman-Larsson blocked a game-high six shots. ... The Blues are 15-3-2 when one of their defensemen scores. ... Of the Coyotes’ 31 points, 21 have come in overtime or a shootout. ... St. Louis has won 1,799 games in its history and is looking to become the eighth NHL franchise to reach 1,800 wins.
Coyotes: Host the New York Islanders on Monday in the first of three successive home games.
Blues: Host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday in the second of a four-game homestand.
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