Blues try to snap winless streak vs. staggering Coyotes
The St. Louis Blues will try to snap a three-game winless streak when they host the struggling Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
After starting the season 8-2-1, the Blues suffered a 4-3 overtime loss to Nashville at home Thursday, then a 3-2 loss at Carolina on Saturday and a 5-4 loss at Edmonton on Sunday.
“I think we’re a confident group in there,” Blues center Robert Thomas said. “We’re off to a good start. These last three games haven’t gone our way, but the resilience is there and that’s a big part of what’s made us successful in the past, and it’s good to see we’ve still got it. Just about closing it out.”
Meanwhile the Coyotes have staggered to a 1-13-1 start. They carry a three-game losing streak into this game in St. Louis.
“We talk about belief a lot as a group,” Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun said. “It’s something that you need to have if you’re going to win hockey games. So it’s something we have to continue to work at and talk about. Just look in the mirror and make sure we’re giving our best effort every night.
“We’re not a team that’s going to be able to out-skill teams and go out and out-score teams, so we really have to play a really sound, near-perfect game. And we’re not really giving ourselves chances at that right now.”
In their last two losses, the Blues allowed late third-period goals while failing to collect a point.
“It’s just frustrating,” Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo said. “I think every guy in that room knows how valuable points are, no matter what time of year it is.
“The league’s too competitive, there’s too much parity. Strong division. So frustrating to give a few of those away, especially tonight where I thought we had great energy, and a little lapse in the second. But overall, I thought, good, strong spurts of hockey, similar to (Saturday) night, where we kind of played a good third period. Just frustrating.”
In their previous meeting this season, the Blues defeated the Coyotes 7-4 on Oct. 18. Jordan Kyrou and Klim Kostin scored two goals each for the Blues while St. Louis-area native Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes.
The Blues made roster moves ahead of this game. With goaltender Ville Husso back from the COVID-19 list, the Blues returned goaltender Joel Hofer, defenseman Calle Rosen and forward Dakota Joshua to Springfield of the AHL.
That created the salary-cap space needed to promote top defensive prospect Scott Perunovich from Springfield — where he racked up 20 points in 12 games.
Former Blues winger Dmitrij Jaskin won’t get to face his old team. Jaskin was injured on a knee-on-knee hit during Arizona’s 4-1 loss at Nashville on Saturday.
“It’s long term,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “It’s lower-body, but it will be really long term.”
The Coyotes wooed Jaskin back from the KHL with a free-agent contract, but he produced just one assist in 12 games before getting hurt.
–Field Level Media