Kuemper helps Coyotes top Wild 4-0 to continue playoff push
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Darcy Kuemper made 36 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, Josh Archibald scored two goals and the Arizona Coyotes kept their playoff push going with a 4-0 victory over Minnesota on Sunday.
It was Kuemper’s second shutout in three games and the Coyotes moved within one point of Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with three games to play. The Avalanche have four games remaining.
The Coyotes, who have not made the playoffs since 2012, have won 10 of their last 12 at home.
Alex Galchenyuk scored his 18th goal in the first period, and Archibald and Vinnie Hinostroza had empty-netters in the final two minutes for the Coyotes (38-33-8), who have rebounded after losing six of seven, including one in overtime and two by shootout. They had nine goals in those seven games.
Kuemper stopped a rising shot from the slot from Brad Hunt with three minutes remaining to keep the Wild scoreless. Kuemper shut out Chicago 1-0 on Tuesday and has three shutouts in March.
Devan Dubnyk made 19 saves for the Wild, who have lost eight of 11 since beating Tampa Bay 3-0 on March 7, when they were three points ahead of Arizona and four points ahead of Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the west. The Wild pulled Dubnyk with 2:59 left.
Galchenyuk scored the only goal of the first period when he poked a loose puck past Dubnyk at 7:48. Oliver Ekman-Larsson flipped a shot on net from the left circle and Dubnyk could not control the bouncing puck.
The Wild’s Jason Zucker had a breakaway with six minutes left in the first period, but could not get off a shot when Niklas Hjalmarsson penalized him for slashing. The Coyotes killed the penalty to preserve their lead.
Archibald gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead in the final minute of the second period when he skated in on the right side and beat Dubnyk with a wrist shot high to the glove side.
NOTES: Coyotes F Nick Schmaltz to a seven-year contract extension through the 2025-26 season on Saturday. Schmaltz has five goals and 14 points in 17 games with the Coyotes after being acquired from Chicago on Nov. 25. He has not played since Dec. 30 because of a lower-body injury. ... G Darcy Kuemper has career highs in starts (53) and victories (26). He has started 20 straight games, tied for third-longest for goalies in franchise history. ... Wild F Zach Parise (lower-body injury) missed his fourth straight game. He has a team-high 26 goals. ... The Wild finish the season with home games against Winnipeg and Boston and a road game at Dallas. All have clinched playoff berths. ... Dubnyk leads NHL goalies in games (66) and road victories (19) this season.
Wild: Play host to Winnipeg on Tuesday. The Wild have won the first four games of the five-game season series.
Coyotes: Play host to Los Angeles on Tuesday.
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