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Recap: Kuemper Notches 5th Shutout, Keys 4-0 Win Over Wild

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE -- Darcy Kuemper stopped all 39 shots he faced to lead the Coyotes to a 4-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday afternoon at Gila River Arena. 

"It feels good," said Kuemper, who has not allowed an even-strength goal in his last 188:14 of ice time. "A huge win. It keeps us alive. The guys did a great job in front of me. They defended so hard ... It was a group effort. It always takes the full team to get a shutout."

Video: Kuemper: Shutout vs. Wild Was 'A Group Effort'

With the victory, Arizona moved to within one point of Colorado, which was idle on Sunday, in the Western Conference standings. The Avalanche currently hold the second wildcard spot with four games left to play. The Coyotes, who lost a pressure-packed game at Colorado on Friday, have three games left.

"To respond with the effort we had tonight was amazing to see and amazing to be a part of," Kuemper said. 

Josh Archibald produced two goals and one assist, and Alex Galchenyuk and Vinnie Hinostroza both chipped in a goal for the Coyotes, who blocked 27 shots. But Kuemper was the No. 1 star against the team that drafted him 161st overall in 2009.

"He looks big in the net, and calm," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said of Kuemper, who made his 20th consecutive start. "A lot of guys are feeding off of him. He's calm during the off days, he's calm during practice and he's calm during games. It exudes a lot of confidence to your players when your goalie is like that. Goalies can do that to a team and lift a team, and obviously 'Kuemps' is the heartbeat of our team."

• Galchenyuk gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead when he tucked a rebound between Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk's pads at 7:48 of the first period. The goal was Galchenyuk's team-leading 18th of the season, and his first since March 16.

"We've been talking the last couple days about keep going to the net, and that's what I did," Galchenyuk said. 

Video: Galchenyuk: 'We Controlled The Game Pretty Well'

• Leading 1-0, Archibald scored the game's prettiest goal with 43 seconds left in the second period. Skating up the right wing, Archibald roofed a shot over Dubnyk's left shoulder as he was being tugged to the ice by Minnesota forward Joel Eriksson Ek. He added an empty-net goal late in the third period, as did Hinostroza.

"When you get these opportunities you've got to take advantage of them," Archibald said. "So, I'm just doing whatever Toc's asked me. I'm just trying to play my game and play to the best of my ability." 

Archibald, who grew up in Minnesota, notched four goals and two assists in three games against the Wild this season.

• The Coyotes are 10-1-1 in their past 12 games at Gila River Arena. They have two left, plus a road game at Vegas, before the regular season ends on Saturday.

"We keep pushing, we keep going," Galchenyuk said. "We're still into it. A couple games left, we have to battle it out."

• Stats that jump off the Event Summary: Kevin Connauton delivered nine hits, Derek Stepan blocked four shots and Christian Dvorak won six of eight face-offs.

Video: Tocchet: Kuemper 'Is The Heartbeat Of Our Team'

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