Arizona (10-11-1) at St. Louis (20-6-1)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Sat Dec 20, 2003
  • TV: CW6, CW11
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The St. Louis Blues look to extend their season-high winning streak to seven games when they host a team they’ve had problems with this season, the Phoenix Coyotes.

St. Louis kept its streak going with a 4-2 win over San Jose on Thursday. Scott Mellanby scored two goals and Keith Tkachuk had three assists to help the Blues extend their unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1).

St. Louis has won four of those games by one goal, including three wins in overtime. Thursday’s victory marked just the sixth time this season the Blues have won by at least two goals, yet they are 14 games above .500 and challenging for the top spot in the Central Division.

“I like our stretch right now. We’re pretty consistent,” St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville said. “The effort had been there night in and night out. That’s why the team game has been effective. We’re getting different guys on a regular basis being a part of it.”

The Blues haven’t won seven in a row since a nine-game winning streak from Oct. 15-Nov. 5, 2002.

St. Louis will be looking to extend its run against Phoenix, which has handed the Blues two of their seven losses this season.

Phoenix is coming in off a 4-4 tie with the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, and has just one win in its last six (1-2-3) following a season high-tying four-game unbeaten streak.

Against Los Angeles, the Coyotes fell behind 3-0 after the first period, but rallied twice to earn the point.

“There is no excuse for the way we started. We were lucky to get one point tonight,” Phoenix captain Shane Doan said. “It’s astounding that we can be that bad. That has happened in the last four or five games—and we would have lost all of them, except for the fact that the goaltending has been outstanding.”

Brian Boucher made the last of his 30 saves by stopping Ziggy Palffy on a breakaway with seven seconds left in overtime.

“After the first period we played pretty hard, and Boucher was unbelievable,” said Ladislav Nagy, whose goal with 1:10 left in the third period tied the game for Phoenix.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 18): Coyotes - 30 points, 3rd place (tied), 7 PB, Pacific Division. Blues - 43 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Nagy, 15 goals and 33 points; Doan, 19 assists; Cale Hulse, 58 PIM. Blues - Tkachuk, 16 goals; Pavol Demitra, 21 assists and 31 points; Chris Pronger, 54 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 18): Coyotes - Power play: 14.1 percent (18 for 128), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.7 percent (138 for 171), 27th. Blues - Power play: 21.7 percent (26 for 120), 5th. Penalty killing: 86.4 percent (121 for 140), 6th.

GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Sean Burke (9-9-4, 1 SO, 2.79 GAA); Boucher (1-2-3, 2.65). Blues - Chris Osgood (17-6-1, 2, 2.02); Brent Johnson (3-1-1, 1, 2.07).

SEASON SERIES: Coyotes, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 19; Coyotes, 5-4. At Phoenix, after tying an NHL record by playing five straight overtime games, the Coyotes barely won a game in regulation as Brian Savage scored with 1:45 left. Savage and Doan each had two goals and an assist for Phoenix.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 4-6-7-1 on the road; Blues - 12-2-1-0 at home.

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