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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET21:00 BRT, March 12, 2019
Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 18,428

Coyotes travel to St. Louis in pursuit of wild-card spot

Arizona Coyotes at St. Louis Blues

  1. The Coyotes were blown out by the Blackhawks, 7-1, in Chicago last night, just their second loss in their last 10 games (8-2-0). It was the fourth time this season they've scored one or fewer goals and allowed six or more, the most such games in the league.
  2. Richard Panik opened the scoring for Arizona against his former team, his 12th goal of the season. It was just the third time the Coyotes have lost when he's scored a goal (8-3-0). They're now 13-6-1 when he has at least one point.
  3. These teams have traded blowout victories this season, with the Coyotes getting a 6-1 win in December and the Blues getting a 4-0 win in February, with both games in Glendale. The Yotes are 1-5-1 in their last seven in St. Louis, with the lone win coming in their most recent visit.
  4. The Blues fell to the Sharks, 3-2, in overtime in San Jose on Saturday, as they failed to complete a three-game sweep of the California teams. They were a perfect 5-0-0 at home in February, but lost their first home game of March to Dallas, 4-1.
  5. Brayden Schenn scored in the loss to San Jose, his third goal in his last five games. He has 20 points (4g, 16a) in his last 17 games, dating back to January 17. That ranks third on the team in that span behind Vladimir Tarasenko (29 points in 22 games) and Ryan O'Reilly (21 points in 23 games).
  6. St. Louis has allowed just 16 goals in the final five minutes of the third period this season, tied with Calgary for the fewest in the league. Arizona has allowed just 18, good for fourth fewest.

The Arizona Coyotes went into Monday night's front half of a back-to-back with Chicago and St. Louis with a chance to move into a tie for the first wild card spot in the Western Conference with a victory.

But the Coyotes, who had won eight of their nine previous games to get back into the playoff picture, were thumped by the Blackhawks, 7-1.

The good news? Thanks to San Jose's 3-0 victory at Minnesota, the Coyotes get another chance to leapfrog the Wild into the second wild card spot on Tuesday night when they face the Blues in St. Louis and, depending on how Dallas does at Buffalo earlier in the evening, still could return home to Arizona tied with the Stars (75 points) for the first wild card.

With 34 victories and 73 points and still 13 games remaining, the Coyotes already have surpassed their final totals for the 2017-18 campaign (29 wins, 70 points) when they finished last in the Pacific Division.

"We don't have an easy game on the schedule," Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. "That's the way our mindset has to be. Every game is a playoff game. It's a broken record, but every game is a playoff game for us."

The Coyotes trail third-place Vegas by eight points in the Pacific but could cut that margin in half before the Golden Knights play again at Dallas on Friday night with wins over the Blues and Thursday night at home against Anaheim.

"I think we have to flush this game down obviously," Tocchet said after Monday night's lopsided loss. "Like I told the guys, it's going to get harder. You think it's hard now, it's going to get harder and harder."

St. Louis enters Tuesday night's game in third place in the Central Division, five points behind first-place Winnipeg and four behind second-place Nashville. The Blues have been off since losing 3-2 in overtime loss at San Jose on Saturday.

It wasn't an uneventful break for the Blues, who announced on Sunday that Vladimir Tarasenko, who leads the team with 28 goals and is second in points with 58, will miss at least 10 days with an elbow injury sustained in a 4-0 win at Los Angeles on Thursday night.

"It's unfortunate for the team and for him for sure," Blues interim coach Craig Berube told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "But he'll recover and get back when he can. We got guys that can do the job. You gotta keep going ... just plugging along."

Berube moved 19-year-old rookie Robert Thomas into Tarasenko's spot on the top line with Brayden Schenn and Ryan O'Reilly at Monday's practice.

"I really like the way he's been playing," Berube said. "I think he had a great road trip. His vision with the puck. Making plays."

Thomas has seven goals and 18 assists this season but had two goals in the team's 5-4 victory at Anaheim on Wednesday and came back with an assist a night later in the shutout of the Kings.

This is the third and final regular-season meeting between the two teams.

Arizona, behind a goal and two assists by Clayton Keller, won the first one, 6-1, on Dec. 1, while St. Louis, behind a pair of goals by Tarasenko and 21 saves by Jordan Binnington, won the second, 4-0, on Feb. 14. Both games were played in Glendale, Ariz.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 12, 2019

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