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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET22:00 BRT, February 20, 2020
Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 18,096

Scandella set for Blues debut vs. Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes at St. Louis Blues

  1. The Coyotes have won six of their last seven matchups with the Blues and are 3-0-0 as the road team over that stretch, including a 3-2 shootout victory in St. Louis on November 12. The Blues haven't lost four straight times to a single opponent at home since doing so to Detroit and Nashville in 2005-06.
  2. St. Louis ended a season-high five-game skid with Tuesday's 3-0 victory over the Devils, the team's first win since defenseman Jay Bouwmeester had a cardiac episode during a Feb. 11 game at Anaheim. The Blues improved to 11-0-0 at home this season when allowing two goals or fewer, and they're one of three teams without a home loss when permitting under three goals (Lightning, 14-0-0; Flames, 7-0-0).
  3. Wednesday's 3-2 loss at Dallas was the 14th consecutive game in which the Coyotes were held under four goals, the third longest streak of any team this season. Arizona also owns the longest streak of scoring three goals or fewer in 2019-20, an 18-game run from October 28-November 30.
  4. Jordan Binnington stopped all 17 shots he faced against the Devils to lower his home GAA to 2.20 this season compared to a 3.35 mark on the road. Since making his first career home start on Jan. 10, 2019, Binnington's 31 home wins are tied with Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy for the most in the NHL.
  5. The Coyotes and Blues are two of three teams, along with the Wild, with three defensemen with two or more power-play goals this season. St. Louis' 11 power-play goals by defensemen trails only the Flyers (12) for the most in the NHL, while the Coyotes are tied for third with nine.
  6. Alexander Steen's 22 career assists against Arizona are his most against any single opponent and he's averaged 0.91 points per game against the Coyotes for his career, his second highest mark against any team (Maple Leafs, 1.13).

The St. Louis Blues will host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night in a key matchup in the tightening Western Conference playoff race.

The Blues snapped a five-game winless streak (0-3-2) by handling the New Jersey Devils 3-0 on home ice on Tuesday. That was just their third victory in the past 13 games (3-7-3), but they are tied with the Dallas Stars for the Central Division lead with 76 points.

The Coyotes are just 5-9-4 since Jan. 9, yet they remain in a five-team scramble in the Pacific Division. All five clubs are within three points of the division lead.

Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet noted that the Stars, who beat Arizona 3-2 in Dallas on Wednesday, and the Blues present nearly identical challenges in the back-to-back games.

"These are two teams who are heavily favored to go far, both similar in the way they play, both stingy defensively," he said. "Great goalies, stingy defense, they've got some defensemen that are mobile, and St. Louis is a grinding team that has won a Stanley Cup because they smother you. We have to play our style."

They did that in Dallas, outshooting the Stars 41-33 in a hard-hitting game, but fell short.

The Blues may test their new blue-line look against the Coyotes. After losing Jay Bouwmeester to a cardiac emergency last week, the Blues acquired Marco Scandella from the Montreal Canadiens and sent rookie Niko Mikkola back to the AHL for more seasoning.

Scandella practiced with the Blues on Wednesday and began his acclimation.

"He's ready to go," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. "We got him for a reason, so we'll get him right in there and play him."

During his time playing for the Minnesota Wild (2010-17), Scandella became quite familiar with the Blues.

"I'm absolutely excited to come to St. Louis," Scandella said. "Stanley Cup champs, what a city, what an organization. I played two playoff series against this team, a tenacious, hard-working team. To bring my energy, bring my game to this team, it's going to be really exciting for me."

Bouwmeester played with Colton Parayko on the team's shutdown defensive pairing before collapsing on the team's bench during a game in Anaheim.

Scandella could see some time on the top pairing now that Bouwmeester is on long-term injured reserve and facing an uncertain hockey future.

"That can be an option for sure," Berube said. "Getting him in that area and that spot, and getting that shutdown role."

The Coyotes have beaten the Blues in their previous two meetings this season, 3-2 in a shootout Nov. 12 in St. Louis and 3-1 on Dec. 31 in Glendale, Ariz. Darcy Kuemper won the first game in goal for Arizona, Antti Raanta won the second, and Conor Garland scored a goal in each game.

Since Adin Hill started in goal for Arizona on Wednesday night, Raanta likely will be the choice against the Blues. Raanta is 4-2-1 this month with a 1.85 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.

Jordan Binnington and Jake Allen split the first two games against the Coyotes in goal. Binnington is coming off a 17-save shutout against New Jersey, so he could get the call against Arizona.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 20, 2020

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