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Friday’s Three Stars: Smith strong again as Phoenix now a win away from Pacific crown

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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AP

No. 1 Star: Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes

Smith once again led the way for the Coyotes stopping 31 shots during their 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The win was Smith and the Coyotes' fourth in a row and sets them up to win the Pacific Division on Saturday night with a victory over Minnesota.

No. 2 Star: Mikkel Boedker, Phoenix Coyotes

Boedker kept busy by assisting on Shane Doan's 22nd and later putting home his 10th of the season midway through the third period with a nice individual effort:

No. 3 Star: Antoine Vermette, Phoenix Coyotes

Vermette assisted on the Coyotes' final two goals, including this lovely dish on Doan's tally:

Honorable mention: Radim Vrbata scored his 34th of the year. It's the most by a Coyotes player since Jeremy Roenick potted 34 during the 1999-2000 season ... Boyd Gordon was 13 of his 18 faceoffs and according to Coyotes PR he owns the second-best road faceoff percentage at 57-percent ... Phoenix is now 32-1-0 when leading after two periods ... Despite the loss, St. Louis finished a franchise-best 30-6-5 at home ... Smith's shutout streak lasted 234:25 ... Beauty of a hit by Matt D'Agostini on Oliver Ekman-Larsson:

Did you know? The Coyotes/Jets franchise has never won a division title in its NHL history.

Dishonorable mention: David Backes won just six of 17 draws ... Smith's shutout streak came to an end 14:26 into the first period thanks to Patrik Berglund ... Both teams were 0-for-5 on the power play ... The loss knocks St. Louis out of the running for the Presidents' Trophy, but still have a chance to be the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference ... The Blues lost for the fourth straight game.

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