Blues Lose in Arizona But Still Sit Atop the West

Blues Drop Game in Arizona 3-1, Still Best in West as 2019 Wraps Up

Goalie Antti Raanta makes a pad save on St. Louis’ Brayden Schenn in the Blues loss to the Arizona Coyotes in Gila River Arena Dec. 31, 2019. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

CONDENSED REPORT

As everyone over at Blues Rants took a break and celebrated New Year’s, the Blues played out in Arizona and lost to the Coyotes 3-1. The loss ends their win streak at 8 straight games but the Blues still sit in the top spot in the Western Conference with 58 points. Colorado lost to Winnipeg and has 50 points, holding down 2nd place in the division. Vegas also has 50 points as they lead the Pacific division.

Conor Garland scored first for Arizona with a power-play goal in the first period. Jake Allen looked to be screened on the play.

Tyler Bozak tied the game late in the first on a beautiful pass from Alexander Steen. The wily veteran Steen took the puck down below the goal line and drew everyone’s attention. He calmly found Bozak in the slot with a perfect backhand pass. Bozie finished the play with the only goal for the Blues of the game. It was his 8th of the season, and third in the last three games. He seems to be finding his scoring touch after a slower start this year.

The Blues had lots of chances, putting 39 shots on net. But, Antti Raanta had an answer for everything they threw at him.

Phil Kessel got the go-ahead goal 7:20 into the third. Alex Pietrangelo lifted his stick as he shot. Jake Allen got his glove on the puck, but it still had enough momentum to trickle into the net. Nick Schmaltz added an empty-net goal in the final minute for the 3-1 score.

The Blues dominated the face-off dot winning 56.2% of the draws but were 0 for 4 on the powerplay. Arizona scored twice on the powerplay, and that was the difference in the game.

The Blues travel to Colorado to face the Avalanche Thursday night and then it’s a stop in Vegas on Saturday as the West’s top three teams face off to start the New Year.

Everyone remembers where St. Louis sat last year at this time. Dead last. This year it’s a different story. Here’s hoping they can put this loss behind them and finish up this little road trip with some more points to pad their lead.

 

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