Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 15th
Game 2: Thursday, October 29th
Game 3: Thursday, November 19th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 2nd

Blues 2

(2-2-1, 5 pts)

Coyotes 3

(4-2-0, 8 pts)

10:00 PM ET, October 15, 2009

Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona

1 2 3 OT T
STL 0 2 0 02
ARI 0 1 1 13

E. Jovanovski (Coyotes - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

S. Doan (Coyotes - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

P. Prucha (Coyotes - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Blues-Coyotes Preview


Solid goaltending has been the backbone of the Phoenix Coyotes' early season success.

Coming off another stellar effort in net from Ilya Bryzgalov, the Coyotes open a four-game homestand Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues, who have yet to win in North America.

Bryzgalov should be back in goal after making 26 saves for his second shutout of the young season in a 1-0 shootout victory at San Jose on Monday.

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The veteran is 3-1-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average for the financially-ailing Coyotes, who are off to a solid start despite the team's sale being tied up in a complicated bankruptcy proceeding.

"(Bryzgalov's) really just sound positionally and doing all the little things right," Coyotes' coach Dave Tippett said. "I like the way he's communicating with the defensemen and getting the puck out. He's doing a great job."

Bryzgalov's work in goal and some strong play in the defensive end, have helped Phoenix (3-2-0) to a winning record despite scoring 10 goals in regulation. The Coyotes have allowed seven goals, including four in their last four contests.

"With the way our goaltending is that really makes everything so much easier on the road and at home," captain Shane Doan told the Coyotes' official Web site. "Our goaltending has been unbelievable."

Light-scoring forward Lauri Korpikoski had the shootout winner Monday for the Coyotes, who avoided a third straight loss despite scoring one goal in regulation over their last three contests, and going 0 for 11 on the power play in their last two.

Radim Vrbata, who has a team-leading three goals, has been held scoreless in his last three games. He has seven goals and eight assists in 22 career contests against St. Louis.

Though the Coyotes were outscored 14-6 while losing all four meetings with the Blues last season, Phoenix could be catching St. Louis at the right time.

Set to begin a three-game road trip, the Blues (2-2-0) dropped two in a row at home after winning a pair over Detroit in Sweden to open the season. The Blues fell 2-1 to Los Angeles in their most recent contest Saturday.

"We're not coming out of the gate hard enough," forward Alex Steen said of the Blues, who've trailed after one period in all four games. "We haven't played a hard 60 minutes yet this year and it's hurting us."

Steen scored a short-handed goal for his first of the season against the Kings. The Blues are 0 for 8 on the power play in their last two contests after going 4 for 9 with the man advantage in Sweden.

"You have to be ready to go. When you look back, we're lucky to be 2-2 right now," said St. Louis' Keith Tkachuk, who leads the team with three goals and six points.

Tkachuk had two goals and three assists in four games versus the Coyotes last season.

Chris Mason could be back in net looking to avoid a third straight loss after making 24 saves against the Kings. He is 1-2-0 with a 2.70 GAA this season, and 5-2-1 with a 2.48 GAA against Coyotes in his career.