Four-goal second period sends Coyotes past Blues, 6-1
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Nick Schmaltz is turning out to be the kind of player the Arizona Coyotes hoped he’d be when they traded two former first-round picks for him.
And, 22-year-old Adin Hill has been stellar in net.
The two helped the Arizona Coyotes overpower the St. Louis Blues 6-1 on Saturday night. Schmaltz had two assists and has three points in three games since coming over from Chicago, and Hill has stopped 59 of 60 shots in Arizona’s last three games, including 25 saves on Saturday.
“If we’re moving our feet, I don’t think a lot of teams can skate with us,” Schmaltz said. “When we’re playing fast and moving the puck north, our speed and skills can take over and eventually wear teams out.”
“The sky’s the limit on him,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said of Schmaltz. “There’s another level to him.”
Clayton Keller had a goal and two assists and the Coyotes netted four second-period goals. Richard Panik, Jakob Chychrun, Christian Fischer, Nick Cousins and Alex Goligoski also scored for the Coyotes.
Panik added an assist and Derek Stepan had two as Arizona won its third straight.
Hill, pressed into service with the Coyotes’ top two goaltenders, Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper, out with injuries, won his second consecutive start.
“Our team did a great job boxing guys out and letting me see the puck,” Hill said.
Robert Thomas scored for the Blues, who have lost three of four. Chad Johnson got the start in goal and made 38 saves.
The Coyotes went on the power play four times in the first period and converted once, when Chychrun scored off a pass from Keller at 12:27. Chychrun, playing in only his seventh game of the season due to injuries, recorded his first goal and second point of the season.
Keller scored his eighth goal of the season 58 seconds into the second period when his shot beat Johnson on the stick side for a 2-0 Arizona lead. But Thomas responded quickly when he re-directed Jay Bouwmeester’s shot past Hill at 1:26.
The third goal inside of the first three minutes of the second went to the Coyotes’ Fischer, who put away a loose puck amid a flurry of activity in front of the St. Louis net at 2:59.
Panik stuffed in a rebound at 17:02 off Vinnie Hinostroza’s attempt from in close. The fatigued Blues, who played an overtime game on Friday, couldn’t keep up with the Coyotes’ tempo.
“I tried to do my best, it just wasn’t good enough,” Johnson said. “It’s tough to be a part of these, that’s for sure.”
Kelller set up the final goal at 14:08 of the third period when he worked the puck around several defenders before dishing to Goligoski. The Coyotes outshot the Blues 44-26, while St. Louis had 28 minutes in penalties.
“The whole first period was us not being disciplined enough,” Blues defenseman Ryan O’Reilly said. “We just handed them the game.”
Despite only a 1-for-7 on power plays, the Coyotes were pleased with their effort in such situations.
“We had a lot of shots and a lot of chances,” Tocchet said. “You don’t always have to score, but it builds momentum and I like that about the power play tonight.”
NOTES: Blues D Alex Pietrangelo missed his first game of the season due to an upper-body injury. F Alexander Steen, also injured in the Blues’ win at Colorado Friday, was also scratched. ... F Robby Fabbri was seen doubled over in pain at the end of the first period. He left with an upper body injury and didn’t return. ... Coyotes F Michael Grabner left in the first period after taking a Sammy Blais stick to his face and did not return. Blais got a double minor penalty for high sticking. ... Coyotes D Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s second period assist was the 200th of his NHL career.
St. Louis hosts Edmonton Wednesday night.
Arizona is at the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night.