St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) – Darcy Kuemper turned in another outstanding
performance for the Minnesota Wild, coming up with 26 saves to lead his team
to a 2-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes at Xcel Energy Center.
Kuemper recorded his third shutout in four starts this season and has now
stopped 96-of-98 shots over that span.
He was supported by goals from Charlie Coyle and Jason Pominville that got the
Wild back in the win column after road setbacks to Anaheim and Los Angeles.
Jared Spurgeon assisted on both markers.
Mike Smith had 27 saves in the loss, the Coyotes’ third in a row.
After the teams battled through a scoreless and penalty-free first period in
which both goalies were sharp, the Wild scored twice in the opening 5 1/2
minutes while dominating the early portion of the second.
Coyle broke the tie by perfectly re-directing of a Spurgeon blast into the
upper right corner of the Arizona net 2:53 into the frame. Just over 2 1/2
minutes later, Pominville finished a Minnesota counterattack by beating Smith
with a hard slap shot to extend the lead to 2-0.
The Coyotes appeared to have gotten on the board when Kyle Chipchura knocked
in the rebound of Rob Klinkhammer’s initial attempt with around three minutes
elapsed in the third period. The goal was waved off, however, as B.J. Crombeen
incidentally bumped Kuemper in the crease.
Kuemper was spotless from that point on, casting aside seven more Arizona
shots to finish off his fifth career shutout.
The loss was Arizona’s first in regulation in Minnesota since Jan. 13, 2009.
The Coyotes had gone 6-0-2 in their last eight visits to Xcel Energy Center
… The Wild have outshot the opposition in all five of their games this
season … The Coyotes have allowed the first goal in five of their six
contests … Center Martin Hanzal missed a second straight game for Arizona
due to a lower-body injury.