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Thomas scores tiebreaking goal as Blues beat Coyotes 2-1

St. Louis Blues' Oskar Sundqvist (70) scores as Arizona Coyotes' Troy Stecher (51) watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

St. Louis Blues’ Oskar Sundqvist (70) scores as Arizona Coyotes’ Troy Stecher (51) watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

BY JOE HARRIS contributing

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Robert Thomas scored the tiebreaking goal and the St. Louis Blues beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Thursday night.

Oskar Sundqvist also scored and Joel Hofer had 19 saves as the Blues won for the third time in their last four games.

“Those guys have had our number lately, especially coming in here,” Thomas said. “I think we did a great job of limiting their offense, playing a smart game, especially in the third period.”

Lawson Crouse scored for Arizona, and Karel Vejmelka finished with 31 saves. The Coyotes lost for the second time in three games.

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“We still did a lot of good stuff,” Coyotes coach André Tourigny said. “I think if there’s something we didn’t go with enough, shot volume, in my opinion. I would have loved to get a little bit more dirty pucks on net and get inside. We’re trying to score the clean goal. When you trail, often those clean goals are not there.”

St. Louis finished 0 for 7 on the power play, falling to a league worst 1 for 35 — including 0 for 18 at home — with the man advantage.

“Definitely overthinking at this point,” Blues defenseman Justin Faulk said. “I think guys are you know looking for a bounce or looking for something, trying to make that extra pass to kind of force it into the net in the sense. … It’s a tough stretch obviously. We’ll keep working on it. It’s not like we’re going to stop trying to figure it out.”

Thomas snapped a 1-all tie at 6 minutes of the second period, tipping in a feed from Pavel Buchnevich. It extended Thomas’ points streak to five games.

“Buchy’s been making a ton of great plays,” Thomas said. “Obviously a great pass. We could have got a couple more tonight. Great play by him.”

Hofer, who improved to 3-1-0 on the season, faced just 10 shots over the first two periods, but came up with several big saves as Arizona turned up the pressure in the third.

Sundqvist gave the Blues the lead at 2:16 of the first, banging in the rebound in front. The scoring chance came seconds after Coyotes center Logan Cooley got tangled up with referee Pierre Lambert, creating the rush.

Arizona’s Liam O’Brien took a double minor for cross checking and roughing and Matt Dumba was called for boarding 9 seconds later midway through the first, giving the Blues four straight minutes with the man advantage, including a full two minutes at 5 on 3.

But St. Louis’ struggling power play couldn’t convert, managing just two shots on the prolonged man advantage

“I think like it was frustrating for both teams at times,” Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher said. “Like they had that many power plays and not scoring, we know from this side when you’re not capitalizing you’re frustrated. For us, it was you know, trying to be disciplined and staying out of the box. We were getting frustrated and you can’t take that many penalties and expect to win.”

Crouse tied it for Arizona at 1-all with a power-play goal with 4:46 left in the first. Crouse extended his career-high six game points streak.

“We talked on the bench and in the room, don’t let the frustration build, let’s put it behind us and keep playing the way we’re playing 5 on 5,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “I thought the guys did a good job of that.”

Arizona center Jack McBain left the game temporarily after going into the board awkwardly early in the second period, but returned.

UP NEXT

Coyotes: At Nashville on Saturday night for the second of a five-game trip.

Blues: At Colorado on Saturday night.