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Blues 2, Coyotes 1 (SO)

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- Having to win a game in a shootout is never the desired game plan, but it seems to be working out just fine for the St. Louis Blues.

Andy McDonald got the only goal in the shootout and Brian Elliott stopped all three Phoenix shots to give the Blues a 2-1 win on Thursday night.

It was the second consecutive shootout the Blues have won 2-1. They defeated Vancouver by that score on Tuesday night. The win also gave St. Louis a 5-1 record this season in shootouts.

The Blues were within 67 seconds of winning 1-0 in regulation before the Coyotes tied the score on a power-play goal.

The Blues took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. David Perron deflected a David Backes shot from the point into the net for his 10th goal of the year but his first in his last 17 games dating to March 12.

It was the first goal by any Blues forward in regulation or overtime since Andy McDonald scored on April 11.

Elliott made the slim lead stand up until Backes was called for a minor boarding penalty with 2:16 to go, putting the Coyotes on the power play. With 1:07 left in regulation, Radim Vrbata tipped in a rebound to tie the score and spoil Elliott's bid for his fourth shutout this month.

It was only the second power-play goal the Blues had allowed in their last 29 short-handed opportunities.

The win gave the Blues 52 points and temporarily put them one point ahead of Minnesota and in sixth place in the Western Conference standings, pending the result of the Wild's game Thursday night at San Jose.

NOTES: Chad Johnson replaced regular Mike Smith in goal for Phoenix. Smith also missed Monday night's game against San Jose. His status was said to be day to day because of a lower-body injury. ... The Blues recalled forward Andrew Murray from their AHL affiliate in Peoria, but he was a pregame scratch. ... The Blues will wrap up a four-game homestand on Friday night against Dallas before playing their final road game of the year on Sunday in Colorado. ... The game was the opener of a three-game road trip for the Coyotes, who play next on Saturday in Chicago.
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