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Phoenix at St. Louis

Johnson goes end-to-end to give Blues overtime winner over Coyotes

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Erik Johnson showed why the St. Louis Blues took him with the first pick in the 2006 NHL entry draft.

The defenseman finished off the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday with an end-to-end rush that ended with Johnson firing a wrist shot past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from the high slot 17 seconds into overtime for a 3-2 victory.

"It felt great. Any time you score a goal it feels good," Johnson said. "But to win a game against a good team like Phoenix, it feels even better."

The win was the first for St. Louis in five overtimes (1-4) this season and the first loss for Phoenix (4-1) in five extra sessions.

"The guys, they need to enjoy this a little bit," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "We've had a tough time."

After Phoenix put the puck in St. Louis' end, Johnson gained control, skated up left wing and crossed the Coyotes' blue line with the puck. He then moved into the middle and beat Bryzgalov with a wrist shot.

"I didn't see it when he released the puck," Bryzgalov said. "I only found the puck when it was close to my pad and it was too late."

Keith Tkachuk and T J. Oshie also scored for St. Louis. Blues goalie Chris Mason made 34 saves, including 13 in the third period.

"You start to do the right things and people start playing with confidence," Mason said. "Finally, we're starting to come out on the right end."

Radim Vrbata and Vernon Fidder scored for Phoenix, and Bryzgalov turned away 27 shots.

"I give our guys a lot of credit," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "They competed hard. Probably deserved a better fate tonight."

After Taylor Pyatt and Fiddler executed a perfect give and go to give Phoenix the lead 1:58 into the second period, Oshie tied it at 2:35 of the third when he got control of the puck in front, and slipped a backhander past Bryzgalov.

Tkachuk was involved in the game's first two goals. He turned the puck over in his own end, which led to Sami Lipisto feeding Shaun Heska in the slot. Vrbata deflected Heska's shot past Mason at the 3:22 mark of the first period to make it 1-0.

Just 2:59 later, Tkachuk made up for that when he broke in on right wing, skated around Lipisto and shoved the puck under Bryzgalov to tie the game.


  • Phoenix defenseman Ed Jovanovski missed his sixth straight game because of a lower-body injury.
  • Tkachuk's goal was his first in 14 games. "There was some fight in the old dog tonight," Murray said.
  • The Blues are 4-7-1 at home and 2-2 on their six-game homestand.
  • Vrbata has three goals in his last four games.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Keith Tkachuk (7) congratulates Erik Johnson for the defenseman's quick winner in the extra period. (AP)
Keith Tkachuk (7) congratulates Erik Johnson for the defenseman's quick winner in the extra period. (AP)
Phoenix (12-9-1)11002
St. Louis  (7-8-4) «10113
Three Stars
C. Mason

Saves: 34
Save Pct.: .944
T. Oshie

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
E. Johnson

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
03:22Radim Vrbata (7), Tip-In. Assist: Heshka, Prucha
06:21Keith Tkachuk (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Oshie
01:58Vernon Fiddler (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Pyatt, Winnik
02:35T.J. Oshie (3), Backhand Shot. Assist: Backes, Colaiacovo
17.0Erik Johnson (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Colaiacovo, Tkachuk
Penalty Summary
12:56Tkachuk, 2 min, Slashing
04:37Vrbata, 2 min, Hooking
08:31Hanzal, 2 min, Elbowing
06:04Hanzal, 2 min, Hooking
09:30Backes, 2 min, Roughing
11:09Yandle, 2 min, Slashing
11:09Crombeen, 2 min, Roughing
15:56Crombeen, 2 min, Cross-Checking
Shots On Goal
St. Louis913729
Ilya Bryzgalov 60:17273
Chris Mason 60:17342
Game Information
Attendance - 17107
Referees - Stephane Auger, Kerry Fraser
Linesmen - Vaughan Rody, Tony Sericolo
Other Games
TB 3 Final
Ana 4
Colu 4 Final
Dal 1
Tor 5 Final
Car 6
Pitt 2 Final
Ott 6
Chi 7 Final
Cal 1
NJ 2 Final
Nash 3
Bos 4 Final
Atl 3