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Arizona Coyotes surpass St. Louis Blues in playoff race with win

Apr 17, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes left wing Michael Bunting (58) deflects a shot by St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) for a goal during the third period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Bunting scored the decisive goal as the Arizona Coyotes rallied past the St. Louis Blues 3-2 Saturday in Glendale, Ariz., in a battle for the final West Division playoff spot.

The Coyotes erased a 2-0 deficit to snap a five-game losing streak and climb past the Blues into fourth place by one point.

The Blues, who have lost two games in a row, have played two fewer games than the Coyotes.

Clayton Keller and Alex Goligoski also scored for the Coyotes, who won their season series against the Blues 5-2-1.

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Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves in his first appearance since March 8. He had been sidelined by a lower-body injury.

Tyler Bozak and Sammy Blais scored for the Blues and Jordan Binnington made 26 saves.

The Blues scored just 83 seconds into the game to take a 1-0 lead. Blais joined the rush as the trailer and buried a snap shot off Colton Parayko’s drop pass to the middle.

Bozak doubled the lead to 2-0 at 8:14 of the first period on the power play. Mike Hoffman gained the offensive zone off the rush to set up Bozak, who converted his own rebound with second effort.

The Coyotes cut that lead to 2-1 at 1:41 of the second period. Goligoski stepped into the slot to bury a centering pass from Nick Schmaltz from behind the net.

Keller tied the game 2-2 with a power-play goal midway through the period. He ripped a shot past Binnington from the right circle for his fourth goal against the Blues this season.

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The Coyotes kept the pressure on in the third period. Bunting deflected Jakob Chychrun’s slap shot from the right point to put the Coyotes up 3-2 at the 4-minute mark.

That was Bunting’s seventh goal in just 10 games this season.

Binnington stopped a Phil Kessel breakaway to keep the Blues within a goal, but they failed to tie the game while playing 6-on-5 with an empty net in the final 2 minutes.

–Field Level Media