Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Arizona Coyotes blanked the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 on Sunday night in Glendale, Ariz.
The Coyotes improved to 10-3-2 in their past 15 games after beating the Canucks for the second time in less than a week. Vancouver has lost three straight and 14 of its past 18 games.
Arizona defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the game’s only goal, in the second period, and Kuemper held off the Canucks as they made a late charge in the closing moments.
Kuemper, who was acquired in a February trade from the Los Angeles Kings, made his fifth consecutive start as Arizona’s No. 1 netminder Antti Raanta remained out with an undisclosed lower-body injury.
Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 of 24 shots as he returned to the net after backup Anders Nilsson struggled in a loss to the Minnesota Wild on Friday.
Vancouver continued to struggle without rookie standout Brock Boeser, the team’s leading scorer who sustained a season-ending back injury last week against the New York Islanders. The Canucks are winless since he was sidelined March 5.
The Canucks had hoped to rebound after dropping a 5-2 decision to the Wild, but they got off to a slot start Sunday. They also wanted to do much better than they did in 2-1 home loss to the Coyotes on Wednesday. Despite the close score, the Coyotes dominated the Canucks in that affair.
The first period of the rematch was scoreless as the clubs combined for only 10 shots — six by Arizona.
The second period was not overly entertaining, either. However, Ekman-Larsson finally opened the scoring for the Coyotes on a power play at 15:07 of the middle frame as he put a slap shot through a screened Markstrom.
The goal occurred while Canucks defenseman Derek Pouliot was in the penalty box for high-sticking Max Domi. The infraction was the second by Pouliot against Domi in the period. Pouliot was sent off earlier for interfering with the pesky Arizona center.
The game was the first of back-to-back road contests for the Canucks. They will visit the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Coyotes played the second of back-to-back games after losing to the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Saturday night. Arizona next plays host to Los Angeles on Tuesday.
—Field Level Media