RECAP: Arizona Coyotes hang on to defeat host St. Louis Blues

By Field Level Media
Feb 4, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta (32) defends the net against St. Louis Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz (17) and center Brayden Schenn (10) during the first period at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Conor Garland and Christian Dvorak each had a goal and an assist as the visiting Arizona Coyotes held off the St. Louis Blues 4-3 Thursday night.

Nick Schmaltz and Tyler Pitlick also scored for the Coyotes and Jordan Oesterle had two assists.

Antti Raanta made 40 saves in his second start of the season for Arizona. He entered the game with a 1.85 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage in eight career starts against the Blues.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Coyotes, check out #ArizonaCoyotes rumors, rankings, and news here.

Mike Hoffman scored twice for the Blues, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped. Ryan O’Reilly also scored, David Perron had two assists and Jordan Binnington made 26 saves.

As they did Tuesday night, the Coyotes started fast and put the Blues on their heels. Arizona built an early 10-1 shots advantage.

Arizona took 1-0 lead as Pitlick broke to the net to convert a pass from Drake Caggiula and capitalize on sustained offensive zone pressure.

Arizona pushed its lead to 2-0 with 2:12 left in the first period when Garland broke in on Binnington, crossed the front of the goal and tried to reach the puck around him.

Binnington made the save, but he couldn’t hold his skate on the right post — and Schmaltz poked the loose puck into the net.

The Coyotes made it 3-0 after Jason Demers fired a shot off Binnington’s glove. The puck landed behind Binnington in the crease and Garland got to it first.

With Binnington pulled for an extra attacker, Hoffman scored on a slap shot from the right point with 3:15 left to play. That triggered a frantic closing sequence.

Related: NHL power rankings – Avs steady at No. 1 amid huge shakeup

Dvorak’s empty-net goal restored Arizona’s three-goal margin, but O’Reilly cut the lead to 4-2 with 1:11 left with Binnington off the ice again. Then Hoffman scored with 25 seconds left with the Blues playing 6-on-5 again.

Due to COVID-19 postponements elsewhere, the Blues will host the Coyotes again Saturday and Monday in rescheduled games.

–Field Level Media