St. Louis at Phoenix

Bryzgalov posts shutout as Coyotes inch closer to playoff spot


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ilya Bryzgalov finally solved the St. Louis Blues.

Bryzgalov stopped 35 shots for his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the St. Louis Blues 2-0 Sunday night.

He entered the game 0-2-0 with a 6.91 goals-against average against the Blues.

"You have to be ready, not as soon as you stop the first puck but you have to be ready as soon as the puck is dropped," Bryzgalov said. "It's nice when you get the lead in a game like that. Games like this were there is very little goal scoring, every goal may be the last goal."

Zbynek Michalek and Joel Perrault scored for the Coyotes, who moved within three points of Nashville for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. Phoenix is in 10th place, one point behind the Colorado Avalanche.

The Coyotes' 31 wins are one more than they had all of last season.

"We're right there, right in the race," Perrault said. "We know what we have to do and how many games we have to win to get in the playoffs."

Manny Legace made 18 saves for the Blues, who have lost three straight overall and eight of nine against Phoenix.

Legace has lost six straight against Phoenix.

St. Louis finished 0-2-1 on its three-game road trip with two goals scored.

"We're lucky to get one point doing that," Legace said. "It's as simple as that. You're not going to win hockey games if you're not scoring goals."

Aided by three power plays, the Blues had 18 shots in the first period. But Bryzgalov only faced 17 over the final two.

"It was one of the best games I've seen him play and he's played some good ones here," Coyotes coach and former Blues star Wayne Gretzky said.

Michalek gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead on his first goal since Jan. 24, a blast from between the circles at 4:27 of the second period.

Perrault gave the Coyotes some breathing room with 7:57 remaining. Legace stopped Keith Ballard's shot from the high slot but couldn't control the long rebound. Perrault pounced on the puck in the low slot and bounced a wrist shot off Legace's left leg to make it 2-0.

The Blues' best scoring chance came in the final minute with St. Louis on the power play, Legace on the bench in favor of an extra attacker and Bryzgalov without his stick for more than 20 seconds. But St. Louis managed just one shot on goal.

St. Louis finished 0-for-6 with the extra man.

"We needed the power play to step up and it didn't come through," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "It's been a bit of a characteristic of our team, the inability to score with the number of opportunities we get."


  • Bryzgalov's last shutout was Nov. 17 in his Coyotes debut, a 1-0 victory in Los Angeles.
  • Bryzgalov was making his first start of the season against St. Louis. Mikael Tellqvist had started Phoenix's prior two games against the Blues, both coming before the Coyotes claimed Bryzgalov off waivers.
  • St. Louis outshot Phoenix 26-9 in the first and third periods.
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Bryzgalov does everything he can to keep the puck out of the goal, including lying on it. (Getty Images)
Bryzgalov does everything he can to keep the puck out of the goal, including lying on it. (Getty Images)
St. Louis (28-24-10)0000
Phoenix  (32-26-5) «0112
Three Stars
I. Bryzgalov

Saves: 35
Save Pct.: 1.000
Z. Michalek

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
S. Reinprecht

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
04:27Zbynek Michalek (3), Snap Shot, Unassisted.
12:03Joel Perrault (7), Slap Shot. Assist: Keith Ballard, Steve Reinprecht
Penalty Summary
05:21Perron, 2 min, Roughing
05:21Yandle, 2 min, Interference
05:21Boynton, 2 min, Roughing
11:04Tjarnqvist, 4 min, High-Sticking
17:22Rucinsky, 2 min, Holding
20:00Carcillo, 2 min, Holding
36.0Kariya, 2 min, High-Sticking
05:08Yandle, 2 min, Hooking
10:13Perron, 2 min, Closing Hand on Puck
11:14Reinprecht, 2 min, Hooking
04:59Kariya, 2 min, High-Sticking
09:53Johnson, 2 min, Tripping
17:42Perrault, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
St. Louis189835
Manny Legace57:51182
Ilya Bryzgalov60:00350
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
St. Louis0-for-0
Game Information
Attendance - 14845
Referees - Tom Kowal, Mike Leggo
Linesmen - Mike Cvik, Vaughan Rody
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