ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis wing Jaden Schwartz never panicked. He never displayed any frustration during a lengthy scoring funk.
“It doesn’t help,” he said. “You’ve just got to keep grinding away.”
That mentality finally paid dividends on Monday night, when Schwartz scored twice and Jake Allen made 21 saves to help the Blues continue their mastery over the Arizona Coyotes with a 4-1 win.
St. Louis has won 10 straight games against Arizona, outscoring the Coyotes 42-13 in that time. The Blues have won 10 of their last 12 overall and trail Nashville by a point for third place in the Central Division.
Arizona has lost six of its last seven. The teams meet again Wednesday in Phoenix.
Schwartz has four goals in his last four games after scoring just once — an empty net tally — in a 25-game stretch from Jan. 21 to March 18.
“It’s obviously nice when they’re going in,” Schwartz said. “Guys go through slumps at different times in their careers. You just try to stick with it and do the right things.”
Alex Pietrangelo and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for St. Louis, which is 16-1-1 against Arizona since 2011-12. Alexander Steen added four assists.
Schwartz and linemates Steen and Tarasenko racked up 10 points in the contest.
“Even when he wasn’t scoring, he was contributing,” Steen said of Schwartz. “Eventually it turned in his favor.”
St. Louis coach Mike Yeo agreed.
“The law of averages (says) it would be inevitable that pucks would start going in,” he said.
Allen improved to 7-0 lifetime against Arizona. He has won eight of his last 10 starts, allowing just 13 goals.
Arizona goalie Mike Smith stopped 24 shots.
Schwartz converted from close range off a pass from behind the net by Steen midway through the second period for a 1-0 lead.
Schwartz, backhanded a shot past Smith midway through the third period to push the lead to 3-1.
Pietrangelo tied a career high with his 12th goal of the season. Tarasenko scored his team-high 35th goal with 1:49 left.
The Blues managed just five shots on goal in a scoreless first period but broke loose with two goals midway through the second period.
“After the first period, we started working a lot harder,” Steen said.
Arizona pulled within 2-1 on a goal by Anthony DeAngelo 61 seconds into the final period.
Coyotes center Clayton Keller, the seventh overall pick in the 2016 draft, made his NHL debut after signing an entry-level contract on Sunday. Keller is a native of the St. Louis suburb of Swansea, Illinois.
He played 21 shifts covering 14:09 just three days after his Boston University team was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.
“It was a really special moment,” Keller said. “It is something I will remember forever. And you only have one first NHL game. I thought it was pretty cool.”
Tarasenko came over to Keller right before the opening faceoff to offer congratulations.
“He’s a star player, it’s really special for him to do that,” Keller said.
Arizona lost four of five on the road trip and managed just one goal in each of the four losses.
“(Our) margin for error was pretty slim and you’re making critical mistakes,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. “You give up key chances and they come back to bite you.”