Final

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Arizona leads 4-0

Game 1: Thursday, October 4th
Blues2Final
Coyotes3
Game 2: Tuesday, October 30th
Coyotes2Final
Blues1
Game 3: Sunday, February 24th
Blues0Final
Coyotes2
Game 4: Thursday, February 28th
Coyotes2Final
Blues1

Blues 0

(28-24-10, 66 pts)

Coyotes 2

(32-26-5, 69 pts)

8:00 PM ET, February 24, 2008

Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona

1 2 3 T
STL 0 0 00
ARI 0 1 12

I. Bryzgalov (Coyotes - G): Saves: 35, Save Pct.: 1.000

Z. Michalek (Coyotes - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

S. Reinprecht (Coyotes - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Coyotes' Bryzgalov blanks Blues for second shutout of season

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Ilya Bryzgalov finally solved the St. Louis Blues.

Bryzgalov stopped 35 shots for his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Blues 2-0 Sunday night.

He entered the game 0-2-0 with a 6.91 goals-agaianst average against the Blues.

"You have to be ready, not as soon as you stop the first puck but you have to be ready as soon as the puck is dropped," Bryzgalov said. "It's nice when you get the lead in a game like that. Games like this were there is very little goal scoring, every goal may be the last goal."

Zbynek Michalek and Joel Perrault scored for the Coyotes, who moved within three points of Nashville for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. Phoenix is in 10th place, one point behind the Colorado Avalanche.

The Coyotes' 31 wins are one more than they had all of last season.

"We're right there, right in the race," Perrault said. "We know what we have to do and how many games we have to win to get in the playoffs."

Manny Legace made 18 saves for the Blues, who have lost three straight overall and eight of nine against Phoenix.

Legace has lost six straight against Phoenix.

St. Louis finished 0-2-1 on their three-game road trip with two goals scored.

"We're lucky to get one point doing that," Legace said. "It's as simple as that. You're not going to win hockey games if you're not scoring goals."

Aided by three St. Louis power plays, the Blues had 18 shots in the first period. But Bryzgalov only faced 17 over the final two.

"It was one of the best games I've seen him play and he's played some good ones here," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said.

Michalek gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead on his first goal since Jan. 24, a blast from between the circles at 4:27 of the second period.

Perrault gave the Coyotes some breathing room with 7:57 remaining. Legace stopped Keith Ballard's shot from the high slot but couldn't control the long rebound. Perrault pounced on the puck in the low slot and bounced a wrist shot off Legace's left leg to make it 2-0.

The Blues' best scoring chance came in the final minute with St. Louis on the power play, Legace on the bench in favor of an extra attacker and Bryzgalov without his stick for more than 20 seconds. But St. Louis managed just one shot on goal.

St. Louis finished 0-for-6 with the extra man.

"We needed the power play to step up and it didn't come through," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "It's been a bit of a characteristic of our team, the inability to score with the number of opportunities we get."

Game notes


Bryzgalov's last shutout was Nov. 17 in his Coyotes debut, a 1-0 victory in Los Angeles. ... Bryzgalov was making his first start of the season against St. Louis. Mikael Tellqvist had started Phoenix's prior two games against the Blues, both coming before the Coyotes claimed Bryzgalov off waivers. ... St. Louis outshot Phoenix 26-9 in the first and third periods.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES