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game recap

Coyotes hold off Blues, move into second wild card in West

Kuemper makes 39 saves for Arizona, which has won nine of its past 11 games

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

Kuemper's terrific glove save

ARI@STL: Kuemper gloves Sanford's wrist shot

Zach Sanford sends a wrist shot toward the net, but Darcy Kuemper snags the puck with his glove to keep the Blues off the board

  • 00:24 •

ST. LOUIS -- The Arizona Coyotes moved into the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Tuesday.

Darcy Kuemper made 39 saves and had an assist, and Richard Panik, Vinnie Hinostroza and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored for the Coyotes (35-30-5), who have won nine of their past 11 games and are one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild.

"Especially with the year we've had so far with a lot of injuries, we've battled really hard to get to where we are right now and hopefully we can keep going and stay in that wild card spot," Ekman-Larsson said. "That's what we're focused on right now. We don't look at the other teams. We need to focus on what we have to do."


[WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Blues highlights]


Arizona was playing the second of a back-to-back after losing 7-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

"This morning we had our meeting and I could tell guys were serious," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "We all didn't like the game (Monday), but the one thing this team does is it bounces back. We had a bend but don't break defense today. St. Louis was coming at us pretty hard, but I thought we did a pretty nice job of getting in lanes and playing half decent positional hockey." 

Jaden Schwartz scored, and Jordan Binnington made 19 saves for the Blues (36-26-7), who have lost four of their past six games (2-3-1) and lead the Dallas Stars by two points for third place in the Central Division.

St. Louis outshot Arizona 40-22 and led them in attempts 76-34.

"It's embarrassing. It (stinks)," Blues center Ryan O'Reilly said. "It's a game we should have won. There's no way those guys should have beat us. I was shooting the puck terrible tonight (five shots on goal, 10 attempts). I had lots of opportunities where I could have done something. That was embarrassing. That was a game we should have beat those guys."

Video: Clutch Performance: Kuemper wins his 18th of 2019

Panik gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at 1:05 of the second period. After Binnington went behind his net to play the puck, his intended pass for Schwartz in the left circle missed and went to Panik, who scored into an open net.

"Not ideal timing to give that one up," Binnington said. "I've got to be better there. I thought I had [Schwartz] on the backside there. I just missed my pass there and unfortunately, it ended up in the goal and gave them the lead."

Hinostroza scored 23 seconds into the third period to make it 2-0, converting on a shot through a screen following a turnover by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist

"Our whole identity is working hard," Hinostroza said. "We got the puck in deep there. [Michael Grabner] went to work and [Brad Richardson] tried to shoot it. The puck just laid there for me and I just shot it in."

Schwartz scored a power-play goal with Binnington pulled for the extra skater at 18:49 to cut it to 2-1, but Ekman-Larsson scored into an empty net 49 seconds later to make it 3-1.

Video: ARI@STL: Hinostroza wires wrist shot past Binnington


They said it

"Anyone that's watched our team play the past two or three months, I think you see a hardworking team that's really found our identity. Everyday we approach it as a playoff game whether it's practice or a game." -- Coyotes forward Vinnie Hinostroza

"We played well, we outshot them, played well. But again, we can say we had zone time, but we've just got to find ways to score goals. One goal, 6-on-5, or just on the power play isn't good enough right now. We've got to find a way to score." -- Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo


Need to know

Kuemper was pulled after allowing four goals on 16 shots against the Blackhawks. He has started 11 straight games is 10-2-0 in his past 12. … Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun was a healthy scratch. ... Schwartz's goal was his 300th NHL point. ... Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, according to coach Craig Berube.


What's next

Coyotes: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; FS-A, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Blues: At the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Video: Kuemper, Coyotes hold off Blues in 3-1 victory

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