Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 12/23/11
(AP) -- The Phoenix Coyotes got a road-heavy portion of their schedule off to a great start. They'd like to begin producing similar results at home. Phoenix will try to match a season high with its third consecutive win Friday night, hosting a St. Louis Blues team looking to rebound from a rare regulation loss. Opening a stretch in which they play 10 of 13 outside the desert, the Coyotes (18-13-3) followed Tuesday's 2-1 win over Florida with a 4-3 victory at Carolina on Wednesday. Cal O'Reilly, Rostislav Klesla and Lauri Korpikoski scored after Phoenix went down 3-1 in the second period. "We had the mindset that if we would come out and play well then we could get the four points," coach Dave Tippett said. "Even though we didn't play as well as we liked all the time, we still got the four points and that's a good sign." What isn't a good sign is the Coyotes having only seven home wins, tied for second-fewest among Western Conference teams. They've lost three of four at home this month as opponents have gone 8 for 16 on the power play. Phoenix's power-play unit is just 6 of 53 (11.3 percent) at Jobing.com Arena this season as the club has averaged 2.38 goals, compared to 2.78 on the road. Ray Whitney, though, hopes to help end those special-teams struggles after scoring a first-period power-play goal in each of the last two contests. He has six goals and 15 points in his last 13 games. Whitney had team highs of four goals and six points as Phoenix won three of four versus the Blues in 2010-11. This season's series begins with St. Louis coming off just its third regulation loss in 20 games since Ken Hitchcock replaced Davis Payne as coach Nov. 6. The Blues (19-10-4) fell behind 2-0 in the opening 5:13 of Wednesday's 3-2 loss at Colorado. They had been 5-0-1 in their previous six games. "Our attitude was not right to start the game," said Hitchcock, whose team failed to score first for a third straight game. "When you start as poorly as we do, that's not winning hockey. We got to figure it out." The same is true of the Blues' league-worst power play, converting 10.6 percent of their chances. That unit is even worse on the road at 5 for 58 (8.6 percent). "We just need to be better early and the power play needs to be something that gives us a spark," David Backes said Wednesday after scoring his 11th goal to tie T.J. Oshie and Alex Steen for the team lead. "A post here and there and shots are all rah rah, but at the end of the day its what's on the scoreboard and we didn't get the job done." The Blues, though, have been getting outstanding goaltending from Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak. Elliott is the league leader with a 1.52 goals-against average, while Halak is 5-1-4 with a 1.75 GAA since the coaching switch. Halak had never faced Phoenix before starting the last three meetings between the clubs, going 1-2-0 with a 3.03 GAA. Elliott has split two career starts versus the Coyotes. Jason LaBarbera, who made a season-high 34 saves Wednesday, could make a second straight start for Phoenix with No. 1 goaltender Mike Smith listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury suffered Tuesday. The Blues are among the league's worst with a 2.06 road scoring average.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal


Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker