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ST. Shaun Alexander Jersey . LOUIS -- St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak is healthy once again. The Phoenix Coyotes found that out the hard way Tuesday night. Halak made 20 saves and T.J. Oshie scored twice as the Blues rode their hot goalie to a 2-1 win. The Blues have won eight of nine and improved to 7-1-1 against the Coyotes since the start of the 2011-2012 season. Phoenix lost its season-high fourth consecutive game. Halak improved to 19-6-3 with his second successive win since missing five games due to an illness. The mysterious ailment, diagnosed as a severe flu, sapped his strength and forced him to the sidelines from Dec. 29 to Jan. 7. "I had a fever that wouldnt go away and I kept getting tired real fast," Halak said. "Now that the virus is gone, Im feeling pretty good." Halak made several impressive stops in the third period to protect a 2-1 lead. He robbed David Moss from close range with a stick save two minutes into the period. He also thwarted Antoine Vermette and Tim Kennedy down the stretch. "This is a game where the goalie saved us," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He was terrific from start to finish." Phoenix outshot St. Louis 8-2 in the third period and dominated play. "I thought we pushed hard," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "We gave ourselves a chance to get some points." But Halak would not budge. "Youve got to give them credit, they came out really hard in the third," Halak said. "Im glad we got the two points, but we all know we can play better." Halak made 33 saves in a 5-0 shutout in Calgary on Thursday. He says he was not 100 per cent in that game, but believes he is very close to returning to top form. He felt Tuesdays performance was one of his best this season. His teammates agreed. "He made some huge saves," Oshie said. "This game could have gone the other way, a 5-2 victory (for Phoenix). He came up big and. thats what we expect from him every night." "Hes a huge reason we won," captain David Backes added. "He got us the two points. We need to play better in front of him. Hopefully, the other 19 of us learned a lesson." Oshie recorded his second two-goal game in the last six contests since he was named to the U.S. Olympic team. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored for Phoenix, which has been outscored 16-6 during the four-game skid. Oshie, who has 10 goals, ripped a shot behind Mike Smith midway through the first period off a back pass from Alex Pietrangelo. Oshie scored on the power play in the second period. Jaden Schwartz provided a screen on Oshies shot from just inside the blue line. Ekman-Larsson scored a power play goal on a high wrist shot with 48 seconds left in the second period. The Blues had killed their previous 21 penalties. Phoenix RW Radim Vrbata hit the crossbar with 4:16 remaining the game. The Coyotes fell to 3-8-4 in their last 15 games. Ekman-Larsson said his team should be able to gain some momentum from a strong third-period effort that simply fell short against a hot goalie. "I think this is a step in the right direction," he said. "This was our best period in a long time." Smith fell to 15-13-8. He has not won since Dec. 21 covering nine appearances. St. Louis, which has won its last five home games, has a plus-61 goal differential, the best in the NHL. Notes: St. Louis D Roman Polak returned after missing 10 games with a fractured ankle. ... Phoenix C Mike Ribeiro left Mondays contest against Winnipeg with a lower body injury but returned on Tuesday. ...The Coyotes remain the only team in the NHL without a short-handed goal this season. ... St. Louis public address announcer Tom Calhoun worked his 1,200 consecutive home game. ... Blues LW Vladimir Sobotka, who has seven goals and 24 points, missed the game with a fever. ...St. Louis C Patrik Berglund played in his 400th NHL game. ....Phoenix RW Shane Doan is two assists shy of 500. Steve Largent Jersey . - The Colorado Rapids say theyve received a first-round 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick, allocation money and a contract buyout from FC Dallas as compensation for coach Oscar Parejas leaving to take the same job with his former club. Russell Wilson Jersey . Gooden is expected to sign the deal and join the team in time for Thursdays game against the Toronto Raptors.CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford is playing so well right now that nothing seems to bother him. When the Chicago Blackhawks had a goal waved off in the second period Sunday, Crawford picked up the slack for his disappointed teammates. Crawford made 25 saves, Jonathan Toews had a big goal in the third and the Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference final. "Confidence has always been there," Crawford said. "Really the first thing is being prepared, having that preparation to try and have my game at the highest level it can be each time I get out there." He is on quite a roll right now, allowing only one goal in each of the past three games. The 29-year-old Crawford leads the NHL with a 1.90 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage in the playoffs. "He does a good job of never getting too high or too low because tomorrows another day," teammate Brandon Saad said. "He did a great job tonight." Saad had a goal and an assist for defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago, which remained perfect in seven home playoff games this year. Duncan Keith had a tiebreaking score in the third period. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night. Playing just two days after a Game 7 victory over Anaheim, the Kings got a second-period score from Tyler Toffoli and outshot the Blackhawks 26-20 in the opener of a rematch from last years Western Conference final. But Crawford made a couple of solid stops in another terrific performance. "I think we can do a better of getting in front of the net and make it harder on their goalie because we had some pretty good shots, but nobody was hanging around, so he was able to see everything," Kings centre Anze Kopitar said. With the Blackhawks clinging to a 2-1 lead in the third, Toews, Marian Hossa and Johnny Oduya got loose on a 3-on-1 break. Toews one-timed Oduyas pass right by Jonathan Quick for his sixth playoff goal at 16:10. Quick made 17 saves after he played a key role in Los Angeles rally from a 3-2 deficit in the series against the Ducks. The Kings also battled back from a 3-0 hole against San Jose in the first round. "We had a chance," Los Angeles forward Mike Richards said. "We shot ourselves in the foot a bit on their goals, and give them credit, theyre an opportunistic team. But we made a couple of mistakes and it ended up in our net." TToews 26th career playoff goal came after he had one waved off in a confusing stretch in the second period. Luke Willson Jersey. It looked as if Chicago had a 2-0 lead when Toews rush to the net resulted in the puck going off the skate of Kings defenceman Slava Voynov and into the goal. But it was waved off after a conference by the officials, prompting a round of boos from the crowd of 21,832 and a waving, yelling display from Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. According to the NHL, the original call of good goal was changed because the officials decided Toews made incidental contact with Quick before the puck crossed the goal line. The league said the ruling was not reviewable, so the call on the ice remained in place. The sequence seemed to wake up the Kings while deflating the Blackhawks. Los Angeles got its first goal about a minute later, with Tanner Pearson making a terrific pass to the middle to Toffoli for his fourth of the playoffs at 4:35. "I thought we lost a little momentum there," Quenneville said. The Kings then had a couple of chances to take the lead, but Crawford stepped up each time. He denied Kyle Clifford on a 2-on-1 break with 13:42 remaining, and stopped Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown in rapid succession midway through the period. Crawfords solid play bought Chicago some time to shake off the disallowed goal, and it paid off when Keiths slap shot went off the stick of Kings forward Trevor Lewis and bounced past Quick for a 2-1 lead at 11:54. Crawford made another big save on Jeff Carter in the first minute of the third, and Toffoli had a backhander go off the outside of right post on a breakaway opportunity in the final period. The Blackhawks turned a bad roughing penalty by Kings defenceman Alec Martinez into Saads power-play goal with 5:14 left in the first. The Kings had a prime scoring chance with 2:42 to go in the period, but Nick Leddy tied up Richards at the end of a 2-on-1 break. NOTES: Kings D Willie Mitchell was active for the first time since Game 6 of Los Angeles first-round series against San Jose, but D Robyn Regehr remained out with an injury. He has missed the Kings last seven games. ... Chicago killed off two power-play chances and is 44 for 48 on the kill in the playoffs. ... Blackhawks D Michal Rozsival was active after he was a healthy scratch for the last two games of their second-round series against Minnesota. ' ' '
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