Kuemper, Coyotes shut out Kings to stay in playoff chase
LOS ANGELES — Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist, Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves for his second shutout of the season, and the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-0 on Saturday night.
John Hayden, Lawson Crouse and Jakob Chychrun also scored, helping the Coyotes remain fourth in the West Division. Arizona is one point ahead of St. Louis, which beat Colorado 5-3 earlier in the day, for the final playoff spot.
It was Kuemper’s 20th career shutout.
Cal Petersen made 36 saves for the Kings, who fell seven points behind the Coyotes.
Hayden beat Petersen with a wrist shot from the left circle to put the Coyotes ahead 1-0 12:47 into the first period. It was Hayden’s first goal since March 7, 2020, when he was playing for New Jersey.
Arizona doubled its lead 36 seconds into the second period when Crouse redirected Alex Goligoski’s shot in for his fourth goal.
Chychrun made it 3-0 with a thunderous slap shot on a power play at 4:19 of the third.
Kessel stole the puck in the neutral zone and went top shelf with a wrist shot for the 4-0 final at 12:56, putting him two points away from reaching 900 for his career.
Arizona was largely able to contain Los Angeles’ offense, even as the desperate Kings were playing to preserve their playoff hopes after losing 4-2 to Minnesota on Friday. While they piled up 42 shots and plenty of scoring chances against the Wild, the Coyotes held the Kings to few genuinely challenging looks on Kuemper.
On the rare occasions when the Kings did create Kuemper was ready, including turning away the backhand shot on Austin Wagner’s breakaway late in the second period.
Coyotes forward Derick Brassard got his 500th career point with an assist on Hayden’s goal. Brassard has 194 goals and 306 assists in 897 games.
With Antti Raanta not available because of an upper-body injury, Adin Hill backed up Kuemper. Raanta, who has played in 12 games this season because of injuries, is day-to-day.
Coyotes: At San Jose on Monday.
Kings: Host Anaheim on Monday.