Arizona (1-4-0) at St. Louis (2-2-1)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EDT Tue Oct 17, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The St. Louis Blues won three straight games only once last season. Now their improved play at home already has them trying to match that mark this season.

After losing three in a row on the road to open 2006-07, the Blues go for their third consecutive win Tuesday when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

St. Louis (2-2-1) was an NHL-worst 12-23-6 at home in 2005-06, but has won both games there this season, including Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Chicago. The team’s longest win streak last season was a three-game run from Feb. 2-8.

The Blues trailed 2-0 in the first period Saturday, but rallied with three straight power-play goals and eventually won on Radek Dvorak’s third-period goal.

Jamie Rivers, Bill Guerin and Martin Rucinsky scored the extra-man goals for St. Louis, which had converted just 1 of 21 power-play opportunities entering the game.

“We wanted to get guys to the net and just pound it,” said Rivers, whose team is playing the third contest in a four-game homestand. “We did that (Saturday). Those were goals we needed. I think it really boosted the confidence of our power play.”

The Blues have a good chance to further build that confidence against a Phoenix squad that has killed off just 25 of 34 opponents’ power plays, one of the worst marks in the league.

The Coyotes (1-4-0) also have struggled with the man advantage, converting just 4 of 35 chances this season. Fredrik Sjostrom scored one of those power-play goals Saturday, but Phoenix still dropped its fourth straight game, 4-1 to Nashville.

After beating the New York Islanders 6-3 in their season opener, the Coyotes have been outscored 20-5 during their skid.

“We’ve got to find ways to put the puck in the net,” said Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who has 12 goals and 20 assists in 42 games against the Blues. “We have got to find some ways to generate some offense.”

They may have trouble getting any offense going against Manny Legace. The veteran goaltender, who signed with the Blues in the offseason after spending the last five-plus seasons with Detroit, is 6-2 with two ties and a 1.98 goals-against average in 11 career games against the Coyotes.

Phoenix has struggled for consistency between the pipes as starter Curtis Joseph, who spent his first six seasons with the Blues, is 1-3 with a 4.38 GAA this season. Joseph is 17-9 with two ties and a 2.13 GAA against his former team.

Mike Morrison is 0-1 with a 5.25 GAA in two games for the Coyotes this season, including one start.

Phoenix, concluding a four-game road trip, has lost seven of eight away from home dating to last season.

The Coyotes won both of their visits to St. Louis, outscoring the Blues 8-3, and won three of four overall in last season’s series.

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Tuesday, Oct 17