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Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper hurt prior to game at Montreal on Monday

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper, middle, is helped off the ice by defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) and head athletic trainer Dave Zenobi, right, after an injury during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Wild defeated the Coyotes 8-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Coyotes were expected to get back a key piece to their playoff-contending team, but that is no longer the case just yet: Goaltender Darcy Kuemper will no longer play on Monday against the Montreal Canadiens after suffering an injury pre-game.

Kuemper has been sidelined with a lower-body injury since Dec. 19. According to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station‘s John Gambadoro, Kuemper was going to play on Monday night but sustained an injury and will not play. Antti Raanta will start in his place.

The Coyotes have gotten by with Raanta and Adin Hill while Kuemper has been out, but Raanta was day-to-day after being a late scratch for the team’s game at Boston on Saturday.

Arizona was one point back of a playoff spot entering Monday. This is despite the fact that the Coyotes have been in first place in their division at times this season.

As of Monday morning, Arizona was in fifth place in the Pacific Division and third in the Western Conference Wild Card race. They’ve lost 10 of their last 12, going 2-7-3 in that span.

Kuemper, who was named an All-Star, ranks fourth in the NHL in goals saved above average (GSAA), according to NaturalStatTrick.

He owns a .929 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average, ranking in the top 20 of NHL goaltenders in save percentage on high-danger shots.

The Coyotes have a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday in Montreal and Toronto, respectively. Arizona also visits the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

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