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St. Louis Blues beat Arizona Coyotes 4-1, snap three-game losing skid

The St. Louis Blues snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

ST. LOUIS — Alexander Steen wasn’t too concerned about the St. Louis Blues' recent rough stretch. 

On Tuesday night, he did his part to pull his team out of it. Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk each had a goal and an assist to lead the Blues to a 4-1 win against the visiting Arizona Coyotes at Scottrade Center and snap a three-game losing streak.

“We have a solid hockey club, a very mentally strong (group),” Steen said. “We take care of stuff in here. There’s going to be lulls and times where for whatever reason things aren’t in sync like they usually are. We had a couple games, but we just regrouped. We’ve been better in practice and kind of grabbed it. Today was good.”

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 16th of the season and David Backes added an empty-netter to clinch it. Jake Allen made 22 saves as the Blues (16-8-4, 36 points) won for the first time in December.

“Quite frankly our best players were our best players,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We needed to get back on the right track, and we needed our best players to be our best players and if you look at who scored the goals, you look at who played well, it's all the guys that have been through this before.”

The Blues had scored just three goals in their previous three games, going 0-2-1. St. Louis was 2-2-3 over the past seven and 4-5-3 over its last 12. They have now won six straight against the Coyotes and are 9-0-1 in the last 10 meetings.

Steve Downie scored for the Coyotes (13-14-1) and Mike Smith stopped 18 shots.

The Coyotes went 0-5 on their road trip through Nashville, Detroit, Buffalo, Carolina and St. Louis — they were outscored 24-10 — and concluded a stretch of 18 of 28 games away from home. They fell to 7-10-1 on the road this season.

Arizona scored first on Tuesday, with 7:48 left in the first period, when Downie slipped a rebound past Allen for his second of the season, assisted by Brad Richardson and Jordan Martinook. 

It took the Blues 13 minutes 34 seconds to get their first shot on goal. The Coyotes outshot the hosts 9-3 in the first period as the Blues missed the net on eight shot attempts. 

St. Louis tied it 5:08 into the second period. Jay Bouwmeester delivered a long spring pass to Magnus Paajarvi, who found Tarasenko alone in the slot and Tarasenko buried it. 

“He called for it before I got the puck from Bou,” Paajarvi said of Tarasenko. “I looked up a little bit and he came down 200 miles an hour, so I just tried to get it to an area where he could get it. It was a nice goal.”

The Blues took a 2-1 lead on a short-handed goal from Steen, his 10th of the season, on a 2-on-1 after a nice pass by Shattenkirk with just 8.8 seconds remaining in the second period. 

“It was a good time in the game to get one, too,” Steen said. “I thought we’d been battling hard and to get one like that was nice. It was a great pass by Shatty, a terrific pass by Shatty.”

It was the Blues’ first short-handed tally of the season and the seventh allowed by Arizona, which is the most in the NHL.

The Coyotes thought they tied it with a power-play goal with 2.6 seconds left in the period, but it was waived off by the officials. Tobias Rieder was tripped by Alex Pietrangelo and slid into Allen and then Anthony Duclair put home the rebound. 

“If there would have been a penalty on Rieder then the goal would have counted but there was no penalty called,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. “So the goaltender could not make (a play on the puck). Rieder took him out. So in looking at it, it was probably the right call.”

Shattenkirk scored with 13:07 remaining after a back-handed cross-ice pass from Jori Lehtera. Shattenkirk’s fourth of the season, also assisted by Robby Fabbri, gave him a two-point night.

Backes added an empty-net goal with 1:02 remaining, assisted by Colton Parayko and Steen.

“It was huge,” Paajarvi said of the scoring barrage. “We felt good, even after the first period, even though we were down 1-0. We felt good. The coaches came in and said just keep going. We really came together. The shots started  to get on net instead of outside the net and we started to score. It was nice. It was a really nice team effort tonight.”

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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