He settled a bouncing puck high in the slot before blasting it into a vacated St. Louis goal to break a tie late in the second period and lead Phoenix to a 2-1 victory Saturday night.
Curtis Sanford had moved to his right to stop a shot by Ed Jovanovski and the long rebound squirted directly to Perreault. He settled the puck with his skate before scoring.
“(Jovanovski) took a great shot, so the goalie had to move,” Perreault said. “I took an extra second so I could stop the puck and take a good shot.” Perreault has been on a tear since signing with Phoenix on Oct. 29. His goal against the Blues marked his seventh in the past eight games and 11 overall with the Coyotes. He scored six times in five consecutive games before going without a goal in his past two contests.
The 35-year-old centre signed as an unrestricted free agent after the season started. He finished with 22 goals and 35 assists for a career-high 57 points in 69 games last season for Nashville, and had 217 goals and 464 points in 740 games in 12 NHL seasons before joining the Coyotes.
“He’s been a saviour for us. He’s been really good. He’s been a nice addition for our team,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. “Every now and then, you get the right guy and we got lucky that he was available and he came to us. He’s fit in nicely.” Phoenix was 3-9 before Perreault signed with the team. The Coyotes have gone 5-6 since.
Blues coach Mike Kitchen said the game came down to whichever team got the better bounce. Unfortunately for St. Louis, the biggest bounce went directly to Perreault.
“We got caught flat-footed on the back check and we should have filled in the middle of the ice,” Kitchen said.
Owen Nolan also scored for the Coyotes. Dan Hinote scored his third goal of the year for St. Louis.
The loss kept St. Louis from achieving its first three-game winning streak since February. It had earned consecutive shootout victories at Columbus and Detroit before taking on Phoenix.
Curtis Joseph handled a 5-on-3 opportunity for St. Louis about midway through the third period and stopped 25 shots for his sixth victory of the year. He helped the Coyotes earn their second road victory of the season, both in St. Louis. Phoenix won the teams’ first game 5-2 on October 17.
Both teams scored in the first period, but failed to mount serious threats in the third. The Blues tied the score 1-1 on Hinote’s shot with 4:46 left in the first period and less than four minutes after Nolan scored to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead.
Notes: The Blues drew their second-largest crowd of the season with 14,440 fans, short of the 17,213 at their home opener. … Nolan earned his first goal of the season and first since 2003-04 in St. Louis on Oct. 17. … The Blues honoured C Doug Weight before the game, their first in St. Louis since Weight became the 210th player to skate in 1,000 games on Nov. 16 in Edmonton. The Blues presented him with a crystal plaque, an engraved silver stick and a watch. Weight who was joined by his wife and three children.