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Frederik Sjostrom's late goal gives Coyotes 2-1 victory over Blues

ST. LOUIS - Road arenas feel like home sweet home to the Phoenix Coyotes.

Fredrik Sjostrom scored on a wraparound with 2:58 to go, capping a strong third period in the Coyotes' 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. Phoenix is 1-5 at home, the only victory coming over the Blues in the season opener, and 3-1 on the road. "Maybe we'll stay at a hotel Saturday when we get home," coach Wayne Gretzky said with a chuckle.

Michael Zigomanis tied it with about 7½ minutes to go on a breakaway, splitting the Blues' defence. The Coyotes entered the game in a 2-6 slump since beating the Blues at home in the opener on Oct. 4, but have won five straight in St. Louis.

"At home we're going to turn it around sooner or later," Zigomanis said. "At home you want to be close to perfect and it's something we have to work on."

Brad Boyes scored his ninth goal in 10 games for the Blues, who last defeated the Coyotes in St. Louis on Feb. 16, 2004. Phoenix outshot the Blues 15-4 in the third period.

"I just think our guys realized we're not going to score if we don't throw pucks at the net, and if our defence doesn't get into the play," Gretzky said. "We had a nice penalty kill and that seemed to turn the tide a little bit, and away we went."

All the scoring came in the third period, with Boyes putting the Blues ahead at 5:52. Boyes capitalized on nice plays by more-celebrated linemates. Keith Tkachuk stole the puck from Matt Jones in the Phoenix zone and Paul Kariya skated around the net and made a backhand feed to Boyes alone in front at 5:52 of the third.

Zigomanis got a perfect lead pass from Zbynek Michalek, broke straight up the middle even though the Blues had five players back to tie it at 12:35. Sjostrom sped around the net and slipped a shot past goalie Manny Legace for his fourth goal, putting the Coyotes in front.

Legace said the puck changed direction after ticking off his stick and hit the far post before sliding into the net.

"It was a bad goal," Legace said. "He got lucky. It cost us the game. This was probably the toughest loss so far."

Mikael Tellqvist made 24 saves for the Coyotes, the biggest one on Lee Stempniak's penalty shot late in the second period. Tellqvist made a pad save on a backhander by Stempniak, who was pulled down on a breakaway.

"He faked a shot to my blocker side and I felt I was with him all the way, and made a good save on him," Tellqvist said. "It's always nice to make a big save like that on the road."

The Blues had a 21-12 shots advantage the first two periods, but were unable to capitalize. Tellqvist also thwarted Boyes on a break in the first period.

"I'd say it's a very tough one to swallow," coach Andy Murray said. "As I've said before, you get what you deserve."

Legace won five of his first seven starts this season but has struggled against the Coyotes. He lost his fourth straight.

The third period had not been an area of strength for the Coyotes before Tuesday, with opponents outscoring them 13-7 in the frame. St. Louis had been at its best in the final period, scoring 11 of its first 27 goals then while holding opponents to five.

Notes: Blues D Erik Johnson, the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, missed his eighth straight game with a hairline fracture of his right foot. He has resumed skating. ... The game began with a fight as the Blues' Jamal Mayers and Phoenix's Daniel Carcillo squared off five seconds in. ... A shot deflected off the helmet of referee Tim Peel in the second period, but he shook it off and stayed in the game.


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