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game recap

Coyotes shut out Wild, gain in Western wild-card race

Kuemper makes 39 saves, Archibald scores twice for Arizona

by Alan Robinson / NHL.com Correspondent

Archibald's second of the game

MIN@ARI: Archibald bags empty-netter for second goal

Josh Archibald speeds behind the defense after receiving Lawson Crouse's feed and scores into the empty net for his second goal of the game

  • 00:49 •

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes gained in the Western Conference wild-card race with a 4-0 win against the Minnesota Wild at Gila River Arena on Sunday.

Arizona (38-33-8), which scored more than two goals for the first time in eight games (2-3-3), is one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Josh Archibald had two goals and an assist, and Darcy Kuemper made 39 saves for his fifth shutout of the season.

"He looks big in the net, and calm," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said of Kuemper, who made his 20th consecutive start. "A lot of guys are feeding off him. He's calm on the off days, he's calm during practice, and he's calm during games. That exudes a lot of confidence to your players."

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Coyotes highlights]

 

The Coyotes, who haven't made the playoffs since 2012, are 10-1-1 in their past 12 home games.

"We need some help," Kuemper said. "We need Colorado to lose, but we feel if we win these final three games, we have a good chance."

Minnesota (36-34-9), which has lost eight of its past 11 games (3-7-1), remained four points behind Colorado. Devan Dubnyk made 19 saves.

"You've got play to the end of the season, but yeah, this was a big game," Wild forward Marcus Foligno said. "It was a chance to put these guys in our rearview mirror and look at Colorado, but now we still have that gap between us and Colorado. This was a big one and it hurts quite a bit."

Alex Galchenyuk gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at 7:48 of the first period. Nick Cousins won a face-off back to Oliver Ekman-Larsson, whose shot from the left point was saved by Dubnyk before Galchenyuk jammed the rebound in through his pads.

Video: MIN@ARI: Galchenyuk cleans up rebound on the doorstep

Archibald extended the lead to 2-0 with 43 seconds remaining in the period. After taking a stretch pass from Jason Demers, Archibald warded off Wild forward Joel Eriksson Ek and scored short side under the crossbar.

"We played really well in the second," Wild forward Eric Staal said. "It was a tough one to give up there with a minute left. It was a period we had it going. But you've got to find a way to score goals and we didn't do a good enough job to get a couple past [Kuemper]."

Archibald scored an empty-net goal at 18:10 of the third period to make it 3-0, and Vinnie Hinostroza also scored into an empty net off a pass from Archibald at 19:51 for the 4-0 final.

"It's huge to be able to put four goals up," Archibald said. "Two were empty net goals, but nobody looks at that at the end of the year, they just look at how many. So it's really nice."

Minnesota outshot Arizona 16-8 in the third period.

"They're all devastated," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They were all up and into this game emotionally and every other way."

Video: Georgiev, Kuemper, Bobrovsky earn Pepsi Zero Shutouts

 

They said it

"It hurts. It's disappointing. We were all excited for this game and we know what it meant. At the same time, we could still win our last three and see what happens. There's no reason to throw the towel in." -- Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk

"We do need some help (to get into the playoffs), but at the same time, we have to control what we can control and do our jobs and worry about ourselves." -- Coyotes forward Josh Archibald

"I thought we defended well. That's the one thing we've done all year, we've defended well. We've had our moments, but this team defends. And [Kuemper] deserves a lot of credit." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet

 

Need to know

Minnesota was 0-for-3 on the power play after going 8-for-25 with the man advantage in its previous eight games. … Arizona had scored nine goals in its previous seven games. … Archibald, who played high school hockey in Minnesota, has six points (four goals, two assists) in three games against the Wild this season. ... Kuemper is 12-5-3 with three shutouts in his past 20 starts.

 

What's next

Wild: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N+, TSN3, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; FS-A PLUS, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Video: Kuemper, Archibald fuel Coyotes to 4-0 victory

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