Blues hope to find scoring touch in Arizona

(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Blues will try to generate some offense for goaltender Jake Allen when they visit the Arizona Coyotes for Saturday's battle in the desert.

The Blues fired 43 shots on net in Thursday's game at Los Angeles, but had no goals to show for it as they fell to the Kings 1-0 in a shootout. The setback dropped St. Louis to 1-1-1 on the young season and came at the start of a three-game road trip scheduled to end Sunday in Anaheim.

With St. Louis playing on consecutive days this weekend, Ken Hitchcock will go with backup Jake Allen in net Saturday for the first time this season. No. 1 goaltender Brian Elliott, who made 18 saves in a shutout loss on Thursday, expects to be back in net tomorrow against the Ducks.

In addition to making 43 saves during regulation and overtime, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped three more shots in the shootout to lead the L.A. to the win. Elliott, meanwhile, allowed Jeff Carter to score the lone goal of the shootout. The Blues goaltender still registered the 26th shutout of his career, albeit in a loss.

"We got the one point, and we'll keep plugging along. We're not going to hang our heads on that one," Elliott said.

The 24-year-old Allen will make his first appearance in the NHL since late in the lockout-shortened season of 2013. He has played in 15 NHL games, but has never faced the Coyotes.

Arizona, meanwhile, hopes to end its season-opening homestand on a positive note. The Coyotes began the four-game residency with a 6-2 loss to Winnipeg, but rebounded with victories over the Kings and Edmonton Oilers.

The Coyotes unloaded seven goals in Wednesday's game against the Oilers, picking up a 7-4 win. Mikkel Boedker tallied his first career hat trick and added an assist to help Arizona rout Edmonton.

Boedker has scored in every game for the Coyotes, becoming the franchise's first player since Keith Tkachuk in the 1994-95 season to record a goal in each of the first three games of a season. He has five goals to set a franchise record for the most tallies over the first three games.

Martin Erat added a goal and an helper, while Mike Smith stopped 23-of-27 shots to pick up the win. Smith also added an assist on the first Boedker goal, giving the goaltender 10 points (1G, 9A) in his career.

Although his team was able to break out offensively against the Oilers, Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett was less than pleased with his team's overall game.

"It was a sloppy game," said Tippett. "I'm talking about our side. I would have liked to see us be more sound. We got away with it tonight, but it was a sloppy game.

Smith expects to start tonight and is 4-7-0 with a 3.18 goals against average in 11 career games against the Blues.

St. Louis has dominated the Coyotes recently, winning five of six and eight of the last 10 meetings. The Blues also have claimed four in a row in Arizona.