Coyotes-Blues Preview

The Associated Press

Alex Steen is enjoying the longest point streak of his career for the St. Louis Blues.

Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan is in position to match his longest run with at least one goal over his last seven seasons.

These players have helped their respective teams each win six of seven games heading into Tuesday night's matchup in St. Louis.

Steen is tied for fourth in the NHL with 21 points, with 13 in a sizzling 10-game run. He has 10 goals in that span for St. Louis (11-2-2), which won 2-1 over Pittsburgh on Saturday to match its best 15-game start.

"I think our team is just starting to evolve now," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "This was a game like I said two days ago that we needed, we get a good evaluation of our team, now we've got really significant Western Conference opponents coming in and we'll get further evaluation then."

The first of those opponents will be Phoenix (12-4-2), which has posted its last four victories via shootout.

Doan has been the catalyst with six goals and an assist over his last six games, and he scored twice on the power play in Saturday's 4-3 home victory over Washington. He has scored in three straight contests, and last did so in four in a row March 1-8, 2007.

"You're fortunate to be in the right spot at the right time on the PP and finding some loose ones here and there," Doan said. "Power play can carry everybody, and it feels good when you're contributing, and right now, being able to score, it feels fun."

The Coyotes own the league's sixth-worst penalty kill at 78.1 percent, and have yielded eight goals in opponents' last 25 chances.

Phoenix will be tested once again one game after the Capitals' league-leading unit went 2 for 7. The Blues are fourth in the NHL at 21.7 percent on the power play despite going 1 for 13 over the past four games.

St. Louis also went 0 for 10 on the power play last season against Phoenix but still won all three matchups and has taken six of the last seven.

The Blues' three-game win streak has featured one-goal games, and the club was thrilled with its performance against the powerful Penguins after holding Sidney Crosby without a point.

''I thought we played a really smart, strong, hard hockey game. Both teams competed at a very high level,'' Hitchcock said.

Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk's third-period goal snapped a 1-all tie and extended his run to eight straight games with a point.

"He's starting to play well again, really well 5-on-5 and nice to see him get rewarded with all the good play that's coming," Hitchcock said.

While Shattenkirk is starting to make more plays from the blue line, Keith Yandle has been doing that all season for the Coyotes. Yandle has a team-high 13 assists, with 11 in his last nine games.

Phoenix forward Radim Vrbata sat out Saturday and defenseman Derek Morris has missed the last two games with lower-body injuries. Both are day to day.

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