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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, January 14th (All times Eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (21-15-9) at St. Louis Blues (31-8-5), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues haven't let the loss of Alexander Steen slow them down.

With the winger nearing a possible return, the Blues aim to rebound from their first regulation loss in nearly a month as they host the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night.

The Blues have been without their leading scorer in Steen since he suffered a concussion on Dec. 21 versus the Edmonton Oilers and he still leads the club with 24 goals and 38 points despite missing the past nine games.

St. Louis lost a shootout decision to Calgary in its first game without Steen, but then ripped off a season-high seven straight wins before having that run halted with Friday's loss in Vancouver.

Steen, meanwhile, was able to fully participate in practice on Monday for the first time since his injury, though there is still no timetable for his return.

"He's been skating on his own so he joins the team," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told his club's official website. "As time moves forward we'll see when he's ready to play. It's a good sign. He had good energy. I think the guys were real happy to have him back on the ice.

"I don't think you want to read anything into it though until he's declared a player. You could go through this for days; you could go through this for weeks. You don't really know. It's all kind of how he feels."

Even without Steen, the Blues potted five or more goals in four straight games to begin January, helping the club post its longest winning streak since a nine-game run in 2002.

St. Louis' offense finally went cold on Friday in the 2-1 loss to the Canucks, with Alex Pietrangelo netting the lone Blues tally and Brian Elliott, who had won seven starts in a row, making 20 saves.

"We created some chances. He made some good saves, we couldn't bury a couple and the difference is a one-goal loss on the road," said Blues forward David Backes.

The setback was St. Louis' first in regulation over the past 11 games (9-1-1) since a setback to San Jose on Dec. 17.

Center Maxim Lapierre suffered a lower-body injury versus the Canucks and did not practice on Monday, though defenseman Roman Polak did and could play tonight after missing the last 10 contests with a partially fractured left ankle.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, have struggled to three straight losses and five in their last six. They were in action last night, dropping a 5-1 road loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

Defenseman Oliver-Ekman Larsson scored on the power play at 12:16 of the first period to get Phoenix on the board, but Winnipeg's Olli Jokinen countered just 36 seconds later to begin the Jets' string of five unanswered tallies.

Mike Smith allowed all five goals on 38 shots in losing his sixth decision in a row. The Phoenix netminder has not won since Dec. 21.

"You can start anywhere and we have to show improvement," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "Our goalies have to do better, our defense has to be better and our top forwards have to do better; it's as simple as that."

The quick turnaround might not be good news for the Coyotes, who are 3-7-4 in their last 14 games. That is because forward Mike Ribeiro left last night's game with a lower-body injury and he ranks tied for second on the club with 32 points off 11 goals and 21 assists.

The Coyotes have lost six of their last eight versus the Blues, but did snap a three-game series losing streak with a 3-2 overtime victory in St. Louis on Nov. 12 in the first meeting between the clubs this season.

Ekman-Larsson scored 56 seconds into overtime and Smith made 37 saves.

Lapierre and Polak both scored for the Blues and Jaroslav Halak made 16 saves.

Halak will start tonight and is 2-2-1 with a 2.61 goals against average in his career versus the Coyotes.

Smith improved to 4-5-0 with a 3.21 GAA in nine meetings with the Blues, while backup Thomas Greiss has split two previous starts against them with a 2.52 GAA.

Greiss yielded four goals on 23 shots in 31 minutes of work in his last start for the Coyotes, a loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

01/14 10:50:44 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal33rd Prd 13:34 | Box
Tampa Bay2@theRink | TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus32nd Prd :16 | Box
Pittsburgh3@theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FS-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/16 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim @theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 620am

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    Saturday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

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    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
1st OT
CHA 82
CHI 80
 
12th
DUR 4
NOR 6
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
9th
PHI 0
ATL 1
 
7th
NYY 2
CHC 0
 
6th
DET 1
CLE 3
 
8th
MIA 3
WAS 4
 
4th
TEX 0
SEA 2
 
3rd
CWS 1
BOS 1
 
3rd
HOU 2
KAN 1
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN 0
TOR 0
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
1st OT
CHA 82
CHI 80
 
Final
ORL 86
IND 101
 
Half
MIL 63
ATL 58
 
Half
CLE 51
BRK 49
 
Half
MEM 51
DAL 53
 
Half
OKC 54
DET 55
 
Half
NOP 53
HOU 50
 
3rd
SAN 51
LAL 53
 
Half
MIA 51
PHI 55
 
Half
NYK 44
TOR 57
 
Half
MIN 48
UTA 51
 
Half
BOS 56
WAS 68
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
3rd
TAM 2
MON 3
 
2nd
PIT 3
CLB 3
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
12th
DUR 4
NOR 6