Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Arizona Coyotes

Final Look: Coyotes, Kuemper Fend Off Flames

Darcy Kuemper pitches a 37-save shutout as Coyotes earn divisional win over Calgary

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

COYOTES, KUEMPER FEND OFF FLAMES

Driven by the challenge of a division foe, inspired by the strength of Leighton Accardo, and backed by the security of superb goaltending, the Coyotes captured a 3-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday afternoon at Gila River Arena.

The Coyotes certainly set a crucial intra-division tone at home; they're to face Pacific Division opponents in six of their next seven games.

"You have to win these games," said Jason Demers . "They're four-point swings, and it's a pretty big log-jam right now in the Pacific, a lot of teams are doing well. We've got to keep banking points."

And two more points Arizona banked.

Following a scoreless first period, Derek Stepan got the Coyotes on the board with 13:25 remaining in the second when he hunted down a Clayton Keller dump-in and blocked David Rittich's clearing attempt with his wrist. With plenty of net to shoot at, Stepan deposited with ease to register his third goal of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Lawson Crouse and Carl Soderberg connected to double the Coyotes' lead, Soderberg finishing a two-on-one rush with a shot low to the blocker side to put Arizona up by a 2-0 count with 11:38 remaining in the middle frame.

The second period ended with some commotion as a brawl broke out in front of the Coyotes' crease with 11 seconds left. A total of 16 penalty minutes were assessed during the melee. More on that below.

The Flames outshot the Coyotes, 14-5, in the third period, but Darcy Kuemper added a few more crucial saves to keep Calgary off the board. Kuemper finished the night with 37 saves, matching his second-highest total of the year as he recorded his second shutout of the season, the 18th of his NHL career, and his eighth with the Coyotes.

Crouse added an empty-net goal with six seconds left in regulation to give the Coyotes a 3-0 lead, the eventual final score.

The Coyotes blocked a season-high 24 shots on the night, including eight from Alex Goligoski .

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

TRACKING IT

GAME #21: ARIZONA (3) vs. CALGARY (0)

  • SOG: ARI - 24, CGY - 37
  • PP: ARI - 0/4, CGY - 0/3

ARIZONA SCORING:

  • 1) Stepan (3) (Unassisted) - 6:35/2nd
  • 2) Soderberg (6) (Crouse, Kessel) - 8:22/2nd
  • 3) Crouse ENG (4) (Unassisted) - 19:53/3rd

CALGARY SCORING:

  • None

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THEY SAID IT

"You frustrate teams when you get in people's faces, when you've got quick sticks and you're on top of people and you gap up. That's the way we have to play every night, and I know it's tough. That was a nice win for [for the team]."

Head coach Rick Tocchet, on Saturday's 3-0 win over the Flames

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Front-net melee with 11 seconds remaining in the second period.

This was neither missed nor overlooked, but its significance is worth examining.

With the clock winding down on the second period, Jason Demers received a cross-check from Johnny Gaudreau after hitting the Flames forward in the corner. Demers continued to receive attention from Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk following the whistle, prompting Darcy Kuemper to take action.

WATCH IN FULL

The following penalties were assessed during the fracas:

  • Gaudreau CGY - 2 minutes for Cross-checking
  • Tkachuk CGY - 4 minutes for Roughing
  • Demers ARI - 2 minutes for Roughing
  • Rittich CGY - 2 minutes for Leaving the Crease
  • Kuemper ARI - 4 minutes for Roughing

"It's the kind of game you get when you play those guys, it's high tensions and it's a playoff atmosphere, which is great," Demers said. "I thought we stepped up, and it's nice having my security guard back there, Darcy."

"You never want to see Kuemps get in a fight," Rick Tocchet added. "But his initiative to do that added a lot to our team, the whole bench got juiced up after that."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Coyotes leading, 1-0, with 11:38 remaining in the second period.

After being denied on a prime chance in the first period, Lawson Crouse and Carl Soderberg teamed up again in the second, this time executing on their attack, finishing a clean two-on-on sequence to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead just prior to the game's midway point.

Crouse, with speed through the neutral zone as he skated into a Phil Kessel bank pass, drove into Calgary territory and dished cross-ice to Soderberg who caught, handled quickly, and finished with a shot low to the blocker side.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

PHOTO FINISH

Play of the game. Eight-year-old Leighton Accardo, signed to a one-day contract, takes the ceremonial opening faceoff against Flames captain Mark Giordano while Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson drops the puck to kick-off the annual Hockey Fights Cancer game Saturday afternoon at Gila River Arena. (Photo Credit: Norm Hall / Getty Images)

Lead Photo Credit: Norm Hall - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

View More