GLENDALE, Ariz. — Darcy Kuemper made 30 saves to shut out the Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames in the Arizona Coyotes’ 2-0 victory Thursday night.
Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun scored goals for the Coyotes, who sent the suddenly struggling Flames to their fourth straight defeat.
Kuemper improved to 16-4-3 in goal since Jan. 1. Arizona has won seven of eight and kept pace with wild-card leaders Dallas and Minnesota. The Coyotes are three points out of the second wild-card spot in the West.
The Flames were shut out for the first time since losing 2-0 at Dallas on Dec. 18, and were held scoreless for the fourth time this season. Calgary had won the previous three meetings with Arizona by a combined score of 18-4.
Keller’s 13th goal of the season came at 10:21 of the first period, and gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead. Christian Dvorak skated up the wing with the puck and timed a pass across the Calgary zone to Keller. The Flames defender had fallen trying to block the delivery, but the puck reached Keller for a wrist shot into the net.
The Flames had a couple of quality chances miss just wide or over the net in the first.
After a scoreless second period, the Flames opened the third on a power play. Mark Giordano’s shot deflected off teammate Elias Lindholm in front of the net and pinged off a goalpost in the final seconds of the man advantage.
Chychrun fired in a rebound that came out to him at 2:49 of the third period, after Dvorak tried to stuff the puck past Smith.
The Flames challenged the goal for goaltender interference, but it was upheld.
Smith, a former Coyotes goaltender, had 23 saves including one on Keller on a breakaway in the third period.
Vinnie Hinostroza missed a penalty shot with 7:26 to play that would have extended the Coyotes’ lead.
NOTES: Coyotes F Michael Grabner played in his first game since Dec. 1, a span of 41 games he missed after taking a stick to his right eye. … D Jordan Oesterle returned after missing Tuesday’s game with an upper-body injury. … Coyotes F Josh Archibald was given a two-minute penalty for embellishment after he was taken down on a rush in the third period. … The Flames played their eighth back-to-back set of games this season after playing at Vegas on Wednesday. … Former Flames star Theo Fleury was named an inductee into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame on Thursday.
Calgary: Hosts Vegas on Sunday.
Arizona: Hosts Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
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Jose M. Romero, The Associated Press