GLENDALE, Ariz. – More than two weeks off the ice didn’t slow the St. Louis Blues’ momentum.
Andy McDonald scored his team-leading 20th goal and T.J. Oshie added a goal and an assist to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight win.
David Backes had a goal and an assist, and Jay McClement also scored for the Blues. St. Louis finished with a split of the four-game season series with the Coyotes after losing the first two matchups.
“When you get balanced scoring like that, teams can’t feel like they can shut down one unit and shut you down,” Backes said.
Paul Kariya, Alexander Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo each had a pair of assists for the Blues, who had 10 different players on the scoresheet.
“It’s a nice little bonus in there,” Blues interim coach Davis Payne said. “It’s not every night that’s going to happen, but you take the nights when it does.”
Joel Perrault scored his first goal and Matthew Lombardi also had a goal for the Coyotes, who have dropped three straight.
“I don’t have much to say about that game,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said during a 60-second postgame press conference. “It’s very disappointing that we come out of the break like that. We have to recognize how hard teams are going to play this stretch. I look at games like this as your top players have to jump out and dictate how your team goes and we weren’t even close tonight. We’ve got to get better tomorrow.”
Perrault gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead 3:43 into the game when he corralled a botched clearing pass at the bottom of the left circle and beat Chris Mason with a looping wrist shot for his first goal since Feb. 4, 2009, against Detroit.
But the Blues dominated the action from that point on, dictating the pace of play for much of the rest of the game and taking advantage of a shaky Ilya Bryzgalov and inconsistent Phoenix defence.
“We had to see who was ready to come out quicker and it took a little bit,” Boyes said. “We wanted to see how we were going to respond and we responded right away.”
Oshie tied the game at 8:53 of the first when he drove down the middle and scored on a long rebound from the slot. McClement gave the Blues a 2-1 lead at 14:02 of the period on a wrist shot from the middle of the faceoff circle.
Patrik Berglund threaded a pass from just outside the right edge behind the net through the crease and onto McDonald’s stick to make it 3-1 at 10:11 of the second.
Backes, who earlier had been honoured on the video board for his participation in the Olympics for Team USA, added a power-play goal 2:19 later on a rebound at the bottom of the left circle.
“I think I definitely benefited from being on the ice during that seven-to 10-day stretch,” Backes said. “I felt really good out there.”
Boyes capped Bryzgalov’s tough night when he took a pass from Steen and spun around Coyotes defenceman Ed Jovanovski before beating the Russian Olympian on a sharp wrist shot from the right circle.
Bryzgalov, who allowed the five goals on 22 shots, was replaced by Jason LaBarbera to start the third.
Lombardi scored an unassisted goal with 11:45 remaining.
“They played better than us for the whole 60,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. “It was a whole bunch of things that weren’t even close to being good enough.”
NOTES: Both teams were playing their first game after the Olympic break. … Phoenix was 0 for 6 on the power play, extending its scoreless streak with the man-advantage to 25 opportunities. … McClement’s goal was his second in his last 18 games. … Bryzgalov remained one win shy of the franchise single-season victory mark of 33 currently held by Sean Burke, Bob Essensa and Brian Hayward.