March 13, 2019 / 2:55 AM / 5 months ago

Kuemper stops Blues as Coyotes stay in race

Darcy Kuemper had 39 saves as the visiting Arizona Coyotes moved into the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

Richard Panik, Vinnie Hinostroza and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored goals for Arizona, which won for the ninth time in its last 11 games. The Coyotes (75 points) leapfrogged idle Minnesota (74) into the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference and also closed within six points of the third-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.

Kuemper, pulled in the second period after giving up four goals on 12 shots in a 7-1 loss at Chicago on Monday, bounced back to improve to 18-5-3 since Jan. 1.

Jaden Schwartz scored a power-play goal and Jordan Binnington had 19 saves for the Blues.

Arizona took advantage of a mistake by Binnington to take a 1-0 lead early in the second period. The Blues goaltender backhanded a clearing pass from behind his net directly to Panik at the side of the left circle, and the Coyotes right winger quickly slapped it into an open net for his 13th goal of the season.

The Coyotes had a chance to make it 2-0 a few minutes later when Michael Grabner moved in on a breakaway but Binnington came up with a pad save.

Arizona then took advantage of another St. Louis turnover to increase its lead to 2-0 just 23 seconds into the third period. Brad Richardson stole the puck from Oskar Sundqvist near the left boards and fed Hinostroza, who fired in a wrist shot from the top of the left circle past Binnington’s glove side for his 12th goal of the season.

The Blues cut it 2-1 with 1:11 remaining on Schwartz’s six-on-four power-play goal after pulling Binnington but Ekman-Larsson sealed the win for the Coyotes with an empty-netter with 21.7 seconds to go.

Arizona improved to 25-1-1 when leading after two periods.

—Field Level Media

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