The Coyotes have become so accustomed to engineering late-game comebacks that protecting a lead seems to be an unfamiliar concept.

They muscled out a one-goal lead over the Blues after falling behind in the first period and clung to that margin for an entire period before the concentration of play in their own end finally resulted in the tying goal from the Blues.

But this – adversity in the third period – was familiar.

So was extra time.

And that’s where the Coyotes shine, this time delivering a 3-2 win in overtime against the Blues Tuesday at Scottrade Center in front of 15,678.

“We just wouldn’t make any plays,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We couldn’t get to the tempo of the game and makes plays in that tempo. We have some players that are willing to jump in and compete in a game like that, but we have too many guys that aren’t bringing enough to the party.

“In a game like that, tactically we can be sound but you have to bring something to the game. We just don’t have enough players bringing enough to it to make the game even. We’ll take the points. We’ll take the win – that goes without saying. But to make it an even game, we need more players contributing.”

Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson stepped into a shot just inside the blue line 56 seconds into overtime to give the Coyotes their seventh win in their past eight games and ninth in their last 11. It was also their fifth win in overtime or a shootout.

Much of the credit for these points can be directed toward goalie Mike Smith, who was an anchor between the pipes in posting 37 saves.

“It was nice for me to play like that tonight and bail the guys out because I’ve felt like I’ve let in a lot of goals this year that guys have bailed me out,” Smith said. “So it was nice to be on the other end of the spectrum tonight and be able to kind of win one for the guys.”

The Blues outshot the Coyotes 39 to 19, which was an accurate barometer of the direction of play after the Coyotes corralled a lead.

“We’re happy with the two points,” Smith said. “You can’t take those back from us now, but that’s definitely not the way we want to be as a team this year. When you play really good hockey teams, I think we need to raise our level and be good throughout the whole 60 minutes.”

It was the Blues who scored first after defenseman Jay Bouwmeester sent a point shot through traffic. Cnd center Maxim Lapierre deflected the puck down and past Smith at 5:53 of the first period to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.

That could have sunk the Coyotes, especially since it’s been difficult to pry wins away from the Blues in their own building. Before this game, the Coyotes had won only three times at Scottrade Center since the 2009-10 season.

But the Coyotes responded only 1:56 later when winger Dave Moss accepted a feed from behind the net from center Mike Ribeiro. Moss took time to set up a shot inside the faceoff circle and when he unleashed it, his wrist shot blew past goalie Jaroslav Halak.

The goal snapped a goalless streak for Moss that lasted 18 games – 25 dating back to last season.

“Moss had a good game for us,” Tippett said. “That line was pretty strong for us. At least it looked like they were engaged in the game and wanted to try to win. That’s a positive sign. Moss has been around a little bit. It’s good to get him on the board.”

With 31 seconds left in the period, the Coyotes went up 2-1 thanks to a two-on-one rush between winger Rob Klinkhammer and center Antoine Vermette. Klinkhammer dished to the trailer on the play, winger Mikkel Boedker, and his one-timer was accurate.

The second period was scoreless, but the Blues continued to pile up the scoring chances – especially toward the end of the frame. That pressure, ultimately, culminated in an early tying goal in the third.

Winger Alexander Steen set up along the wall and kept the puck on his stick until he spotted defenseman Roman Polak pinch from the blue line and sneak behind center Kyle Chipchura.

Steen sent a cross-ice pass to Polak, who went glove-side on Smith at 2:49 to even it at 2.

With the assist, Steen, who’s tied for the league-lead for goals (14), extended his point streak to 11 games.

“(David) Schlemko loses his stick, and then they get time and space and (Steen’s) standing all alone in the corner. Their team has room and time to move around and find an open guy, and they found an open guy.”

Play remained in the Coyotes end for much of the period, with Smith having to be steady. He made one particularly impressive glove save with 7:05 left after center Derek Roy spun between two defenders to attempt a shot just outside the crease.

“That was a great move,” Smith said. “The puck was kind of bouncing. He was able to get it between his legs. It was luck more than anything. I think it ended up in my glove, but I’ll take it.”