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St. Louis at Phoenix

Whitney's hat trick propels Coyotes past Blues

CBSSports.com wire reports
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ray Whitney's first goal of the season was only the start of his offensive flurry.

Whitney had a hat trick and matched his career high with five points, leading the Phoenix Coyotes to a 5-3 victory against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

"Opportunistic, that would be the word," said Whitney, known as a fine passer. "The goals were very opportunistic. I guess at this point in the season I'm waiting to get going."

Whitney, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata each scored on the power play, and the Coyotes stretched their winning streak to three games. With a goal and two assists, Vrbata had his first three-point game of the season.

Whitney scored his final goal into an empty net. He also had five points for Carolina at Boston on Feb. 8, 2007.

This outburst pulled Whitney into a tie for the Phoenix lead with 11 points. Keith Yandle, who had two assists against the Blues, also has 11.

Whitney's hat trick was the second for Phoenix in two nights, after Vernon Fiddler scored three goals against Calgary on Friday. It was the first time the franchise had back-to-back hat tricks since Jeremy Roenick turned the trick in November 1999 against New Jersey and Colorado.

Announced attendance was 9,412, the fifth crowd under 10,000 in eight Coyotes home games this season.

The Blues rank second in the NHL in goals allowed, but they've yielded 15 in their last three games.

"We waited around to see how this game would be defined, instead of defining play ourselves," St. Louis coach Davis Payne said.

The Coyotes broke on top early. Vrbata redirected Yandle's shot from the left point for his fifth goal of the season on the power play at 5:03. Vrbata's goal was the first Phoenix shot on net, and it snapped a streak of 22 consecutive penalty kills by the Blues.

St. Louis tied it on a backhander by Andy McDonald at 14:10 of the opening period. McDonald took a pass in front from Patrik Berglund and scored his third of the season.

"It was nice to see the puck go in the net," McDonald said. "We're not a high-scoring team, and [against Phoenix] we weren't enough of a defensive zone team."

Whitney's first of the season pushed Phoenix into a 2-1 lead. Blues defenseman Nicholas Drazenovic's clearing pass in front was redirected by Whitney into the net for his 325th career goal. Whitney has 18 in Stanley Cup playoff competition.

Whitney scored his second less than five minutes later. His shot from the left circle, on the power play, deflected off goalie Ty Conklin's right pad and behind the line at 10:28. That pushed Phoenix back into the lead at 3-2, after David Backes tied the game on a power-play goal at 7:52.

Whitney's final goal was deposited into an empty net with 1:48 remaining.

"We're finding ways to win," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "As a result, we're getting valuable points at home, so we need to find ways to pick up important points on the road."

The Coyotes now go on a three-game trip to Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Notes

  • Phoenix captain Shane Doan missed his sixth consecutive game (lower back).
  • McDonald recorded his first three-point game of the season.
  • Yandle had his first two-point game of the season.
Copyright 2014 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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Ray Whitney (left) enjoys his hat trick with Martin Hanzal, who also scores a goal on the night. (Getty Images)
Ray Whitney (left) enjoys his hat trick with Martin Hanzal, who also scores a goal on the night. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
St. Louis (9-3-3)1113
Phoenix  (6-5-5) «1315
Three Stars
R. Whitney
PHO


Goals: 3
Assist(s): 2
R. Vrbata
PHO


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
K. Yandle
PHO


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:03Power Play - Radim Vrbata (5), Tip-In. Assist: Yandle, Whitney
14:10 - Andy McDonald (3), Backhand Shot. Assist: Berglund
2ND PERIOD
05:39 - Ray Whitney (1), Tip-In, Unassisted.
07:52Power Play - David Backes (3), Tip-In. Assist: Berglund, McDonald
10:28Power Play - Ray Whitney (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Yandle, Belanger
15:03Power Play - Martin Hanzal (3), Tip-In. Assist: Vrbata, Whitney
3RD PERIOD
18:12 - Brad Boyes (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: McDonald, Pietrangelo
19:36 - Ray Whitney (3), Empty Net. Assist: Vrbata
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
04:21Sobotka, 2 min, Tripping
08:59Sobotka, 2 min, Hooking
15:09Janssen, 5 min, Fighting
15:09Bissonnette, 5 min, Fighting
2ND PERIOD
06:50Aucoin, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
09:10Backes, 2 min, Hooking
09:31Conklin, 2 min, Tripping
14:20Oystrick, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
09:00Upshall, 2 min, Slashing
11:37Johnson, 2 min, Closing Hand on Puck
Shots On Goal
 123T
STL1191880
PHO1010767
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Ty Conklin58:33224
Ilya Bryzgalov59:53353
Game Information
Attendance - 9412
Referees - Brad Meier, Stephane Auger
Linesmen - Don Henderson, Jay Sharrers
 
Other Games
Wash 2 Final
OT
Buf 3
Fla 2 Final
Phi 5
Pitt 4 Final
Atl 2
Ott 2 Final
Bos 0
Colo 1 Final
Det 3
Van 5 Final
Tor 3
Car 2 Final
Mon 7
Chi 3 Final
Nash 4
Cal 3 Final
SJ 4
NYI 1 Final
LA 5