Mon, Feb 15, 2021
By JOHN MARSHALL (AP Sports Writer)
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Darcy Kuemper stopped 24 shots, Clayton Keller scored and the Arizona Coyotes closed out their seven-game series against the St. Louis Blues with a 1-0 win Monday.
The shifting dynamics of playing hockey in a pandemic led to the Blues and Coyotes playing seven straight games against each other, a first in NHL or NBA regular-season history.
The teams split the first six games, and the Coyotes were at their shutdown best in Game 7.
Keller scored in the second period and Kuemper, making his fifth start in the series, earned his first shutout this season and No. 19 for his career.
Jordan Binnington had 18 saves for the Blues.
Home ice had not been much of an advantage in this seven-game series.
St. Louis won the first game at home, but the Coyotes won the next three and the Blues won the first two in the desert.
Kuemper and Binnington were sharp after getting Saturday's game off, each making some tough saves in the first period.
Arizona's Derick Brassard was the closest to breaking through in the first when a wraparound attempt popped up and hit Binnington on the back before bouncing away.
St. Louis ramped up the pressure to start the second period, but the Coyotes scored when Keller beat Binnington on the glove side from the left circle for his fifth of the season.
The Blues kept buzzing in the period and Kuemper made some difficult saves, shutting them down during a 5-on-3 power play. Conor Garland nearly put the Coyotes up 2-0 late in the period after a slick move, but he hit the far post.
Kuemper made a good positional save midway through the third period, sliding over to stop Vince Dunn on an odd-man rush, and another after the Blues pulled Binnington with a minute left.
The Blues open a two-game home series against San Jose on Thursday.
The Coyotes host the Los Angeles Kings in the first of two games on Thursday.
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