Johan Larsson scores first goal with Arizona in Coyotes’ loss to Blues
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Justin Faulk had two goals and an assist, Jordan Binnington stopped 24 shots and the St. Louis Blues ended a three-game losing streak to the Arizona Coyotes with a 4-1 victory Friday night.
The quirks of a pandemic-altered season have pitted the Blues and Coyotes against each other for seven straight games, a first in NHL or NBA regular-season history.
Arizona won three of the first four, all in St. Louis. The Blues won the first of three in the desert behind Faulk’s big night and some spectacular saves by Binnington.
Ivan Barbashev and Brayden Schenn scored empty-net goals to seal it.
Johan Larsson scored his first goal with Arizona, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 23 shots.
The Blues and Coyotes both had games scheduled for this week shelved due to COVID-19 issues, setting up an unprecedented, non-playoff seven-game series.
The Blues won the first game, but the Coyotes took the final three in St. Louis, the last in a shootout Monday after Clayton Keller scored with 0.7 seconds left in regulation.
St. Louis scored the first goal in Monday’s game and did it again 2 1/2 minutes into Game 5, when Faulk beat Kuemper from between the circles on a power play. It was the Blues’ second power-play goal in 18 tries in the series against the Coyotes.
Ryan O’Reilly appeared to score late in the first, but video review showed the puck went under the side of the net.
Larsson tied it midway through the second period, slipping a rebound between Binnington’s pads.
The Coyotes took their turn having a goal wiped out late in the period, when replay showed Arizona was offside before Conor Garland beat Binnington on a shot to the short side.
The intensity picked up in the third period as the teams traded good chances.
Binnington made a diving save on a shot by Lawson Crouse after a gaffe by the Blues on their power play. Less than a minute later, St. Louis defenseman Torey Krug hit both posts with one shot.
Faulk broke the tie with seven minutes left, beating Kuemper stick side from the slot after a nifty move by Jordan Kyrou.
Barbashev and Schenn made sure there was no last-second comeback by Arizona this time.
The Blues and Coyotes play their sixth straight matchup Saturday, with the finale on Monday.