Smith leads Coyotes past slumping Blues

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 06, 2012
Mike Smith made 31 saves in another stingy start, helping the Phoenix Coyotes take the Pacific Division lead with a 4-1 victory over the suddenly beatable St. Louis Blues on Friday night. Patrik Berglund's rebound goal in the first period ended Smith's shutout streak at 234:25 and tied it at 1, but Smith was perfect the rest of the way. The Coyotes won their fourth in a row and extended the Blues' season-worst winless streak to four games in St. Louis' home finale. Keith Yandle, Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan and Mikkel Boedker scored for Phoenix, and Antoine Vermette had two assists. The Coyotes, who've won the last four by a combined 14-1, can win the first division title in franchise history with a victory in the regular-season finale Saturday night at Minnesota. The Coyotes have a one-point lead over Los Angeles and San Jose. The Kings and Sharks will play Saturday night in San Jose, with one team guaranteed to earn two points. Brian Elliott, whose scoreless streak ended at 241:33 in a shootout loss to Detroit on Wednesday, had 28 saves for St. Louis. The Blues were the first team to clinch a playoff spot and could still win the Western Conference with a win Saturday at Dallas along with a Vancouver loss at home against Edmonton, but are 3-4-4 in their last 11. The Blues finished a franchise-best 30-6-5 at home, but with a pair of blowout losses in the last three, also falling 5-2 to lowly Columbus last Saturday. A sellout crowd showed its frustration in the third period, with a beer bottle and a hat tossed onto the ice after Jamie Langenbrunner and Michal Rozsival tangled. Phoenix avoided a season sweep by St. Louis after getting outscored 11-3 in three losses, including a 4-0 setback at home March 25. The Coyotes killed seven Blues' power plays. Yandle scored his first goal in 11 games on the Coyotes' second shot, hitting the top corner with a drive from beyond the left faceoff circle at 2:13. Berglund's 19th goal tied it late in the period and the Blues outshot the Coyotes 11-0 the last 11 minutes of the first period, appearing to build some momentum. Phoenix regained control early in the second, beating Elliott on consecutive shots by Vrbata from the slot and Doan on a rush for a 3-1 lead about 7 1/2 minutes in. Vrbata has 34 goals, the most for the Coyotes since Jeremy Roenick had 34 in 1999-2000. The Blues missed a chance to climb back into it, coming up empty with 1:48 of a two-man advantage late in the period. Notes : Doan has 20 goals and 46 points in 64 career games against the Blues. ... Elliott and Smith fell well short of the NHL record of 332:01 set by Brian Boucher of Phoenix in 2003-04. ... The Coyotes are 32-1 when leading after two periods. ... Smith won for the first time in four career starts in St. Louis.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker