GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Six hat tricks from five different players in 40 games mean the St. Louis Blues are doing something right on offense this season.
David Backes became the latest player to accomplish the feat, scoring four goals for the second time in his career to lead the Blues to a 6-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
Paul Stastny and Jayden Schwartz also scored and Brian Elliott stopped 23 shots.
“We played the best 60 minutes of our season so far,” Backes said. “Complete from all four lines, all three sets of (defenders) and Brian Elliott was fantastic.”
The Blues outshot the Coyotes 39-23 and won in Arizona for the sixth straight time with a 29-8 scoring edge in those games.
Backes notched his 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th goals of the season over a 17-minute span between the second and third periods. He became the second Blues player in two nights to score at least three goals, following T.J. Oshie’s hat trick in St. Louis’ 7-2 win at San Jose on Saturday.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” Backes said of the team’s six hat tricks, “but we’re not going to complain when guys are having hot nights like that. I can’t take all the credit. I had a lot of linemates making some fantastic plays and I was able to find the back of the net and pay those guys off for doing a lot of hard work.”
Mike Smith finished with 33 saves for the Coyotes, who were shut out for the seventh time this season - the fourth time at home.
Backes’ first goal came after the Blues finished three passes with the puck coming to him for the shot, giving St. Louis a 2-0 lead. Just over a minute later at the 7:21 mark, Backes finished a breakaway after a pass from Oshie, also on a power play.
Backes scored again with a wrist shot past Smith with 5:07 left in the second period, and completed his night by putting in a centering pass from Alexander Steen at 3:15 of the third period. Backes got his third career hat trick, and Oshie recorded a point for the sixth straight game after his two assists.
“It’s fun to be a part of,” Oshie said. “It’s a balanced offense. Guys are going to get hot at different times. Lines are going to get hot at different times. We like to throw four lines at teams and when that happens, you wear guys down.”
Patrik Berglund and Steen also had two assists each for St. Louis.
Stastny opened the scoring at 7:57 of the first period, putting in a loose puck after Smith came out of the net to stop a shot. Smith passed the puck to Lauri Korpikoski, who lost the puck to Stastny.
Schwartz capped the scoring with a power-play goal - St. Louis’ third of the game - at 5:53 of the third.
The Blues scored on their first two power plays of the night. That led to a fight between St. Louis’ Ryan Reaves and Arizona’s B.J. Crombeen, which resulted in 5-minute penalties for both at 8:48 of the period.
Korpikoski had a good chance for a goal with just under 6 minutes left in the second, but couldn’t corral a loose puck that Elliott couldn’t find.
“That’s not a goaltender problem, that’s a people in front of him problem,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “That’s a look in the mirror issue and see where we’re at.”
NOTES: Coyotes F Martin Hanzal did not play Tuesday, a pregame scratch due to an upper body injury. He’s missed eight games because of injury this season and is listed as day-to-day. … C Antoine Vermette left the game 26 seconds into the first period after being hit in the face with a puck and bleeding, but emerged from the locker room and was back on the ice later in the period. He needed to be stitched up twice and didn’t finish the game … C Joe Vitale played in his 200th career NHL game. … Oshie dressed for his 403rd career game, which tied Frank St. Marseille for 18th on the club’s all-time games played list. … D Ian Cole was scratched from the Blues’ lineup Tuesday after having played in the previous four games.
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