After a tough overtime loss on Saturday night, the Coyotes are in St. Louis this evening to face the Blues. St. Louis is winless in their last three games and are looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak at home since they had a five-game losing skid from Dec. 18, 2009 to Jan. 2 2010.
Going into the season, both teams were expected to be two of the top teams out west, but both are tied with 47 points and are on the outside looking in at the playoffs at the current moment. One of the reasons why both teams are struggling a bit is because of their power play. Both teams have yet to score on a man advantage so far in the new year. St. Louis is 0 for 9 while Phoenix is 0-for-14 since Dec. 31. Unless this game remains scoreless going into a shootout, expect one of these two teams to end that skid tonight.
Both of these teams also feature great goaltending. Ilya Bryzgalov has missed the previous two games because of flu-like symptoms, but he is slated to start in net tonight for the Coyotes. He has struggled a bit in his career against the Blues going 3-6-1 with a 3.21 GAA in 10 starts. After having a brilliant postseason last year with the Montreal Canadians, Jaroslav Halak is having a really good year with the Blues. His save percentage isn’t as quite as good as it was last season, but his GAA is right on par to where it was last season. The 25-year-old is one of the better good young goalies in the league and the Coyotes will have their work cut out for them tonight going up against him.
Beginning tonight, the Coyotes have a brutal stretch to close out the month of January before the all-star game. Phoenix will have 10 games over the next 17 days with four on the road and six at home against some pretty quality opponents. A win tonight in St. Louis would be a good start to this rough stretch of games.