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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 12th (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (12-4-2) at St. Louis Blues (11-2-2), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues look to post their best start in franchise history on Tuesday night as they play host to the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Blues are 11-2-2 through their first 15 games, matching the best start by the franchise over that span first set in 1993-94 and done again in 1997-98. However, in both seasons St. Louis lost its 16th game of the campaign, so a victory tonight would mark the first time the club has won 12 of 16 to open the schedule.
St. Louis is coming off a solid 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, getting goals from Ryan Reaves and Kevin Shattenkirk.
Shattenkirk's assist streak ended at seven straight games, but his first goal of the season more than made up for it. Alexander Steen, tied for the league lead with 14 goals, added an assist to give him 13 points over a 10-game point streak.
Jaroslav Halak made 19 saves in St. Louis' third straight win and sixth in seven games.
"We needed to prove we can play with elite teams," Reaves said.
St. Louis is 7-1-1 as the host this season and is set to play the third contest of a five-game homestand. Forward Brandon Morrow is slated to be in the lineup tonight after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury, but defenseman Jordan Leopold will miss at least the next eight weeks because of a right hand injury that will require surgery.
Halak is 2-2-0 with a 2.52 goals against average in four career meetings with the Coyotes, who the Blues swept in three games last season.
St. Louis has won seven of the last 10 encounters overall and five of the past seven played at home.
The Coyotes, though, come in having won six of their last seven thanks to a rally over the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Phoenix scored twice in the final 3:26 of regulation, then scored twice in the shootout for a 4-3 win.
Each of Phoenix's past four wins have come in the shootout.
Shane Doan scored twice on the power play, his second tally getting the comeback started before Lauri Korpikoski's game-tying goal with 1:46 to go in regulation. Antoine Vermette and Mikkel Boedker both scored in the shootout and Mike Smith ended with 29 saves.
"Smitty made some big saves in the third to keep us in the game," said Doan, who has four goals in his last three games and nine points in his last eight games.
Both forward Radim Vrbata and defenseman Derek Morris missed the game with lower-body ailments and are questionable for tonight.
Smith is 3-5-0 with a 3.37 GAA in eight previous meetings with the Blues.
11/12 10:50:04 ET
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