Kuemper, Coyotes try to hold off Predators

Field Level Media

Darcy Kuemper could become the first goalie in franchise history to allow two goals or fewer in 12 straight appearances when the Arizona Coyotes host the Nashville Predators on Thursday night in Glendale, Ariz.

Kuemper made 38 saves on Tuesday to help the Coyotes to a 4-2 win at the Winnipeg Jets. He has stopped 127 of 133 shots over four games this season for a .955 save percentage.

Nikolai Khabibulin holds the team record of 11 straight games allowing two goals or fewer. He established that streak early in the 1998-99 season.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Kuemper's streak doesn't include any appearances against Nashville. However, he's 4-2-1 against the Predators in his career with a 2.44 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. He last faced them on Nov. 15 and made a career-high 44 saves in the 2-1 win.

The Predators played four games at home before embarking on their first road trip. They rallied from a three-goal deficit at the start of the third period on Saturday at the Los Angeles Kings, but then gave up three goals in the final minute in the 7-4 loss.

They were more consistent in a 5-2 win at the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.

"We're learning and figuring it out and realizing what it takes to win on the road," Predators coach Peter Laviolette told reporters after the win in Las Vegas.

The Predators could be without one of their top offensive players, as center Filip Forsberg departed against Vegas with just over nine minutes left after sustaining a lower-body injury and he did not return.

Forsberg did not participate in an optional practice Wednesday in Arizona, and Laviolette told reporters that he will be a game-time decision against the Coyotes.

Forsberg scored a goal in the second period against the Jets to give the Predators a 4-2 lead and tied Marek Zidlicky for the longest point streak to start a season in franchise history.

Forsberg has eight points (five goals, three assists) in the first six games. Zidlicky had seven points (two goals, five assists) in the first six games of the 2003-04 season.

Forsberg has scored from 26 to 33 goals in each of the past five seasons.

"Filip's been one of the constants for us for a few years," Laviolette said.

The Predators had waived forward Daniel Carr earlier Tuesday and planned to send him back to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League, but he remained with Nashville following Forsberg's injury.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, have been receiving outstanding offensive play from forwards Nick Schmaltz and Christian Dvorak.

Schmaltz has scored a goal in each of the past three games and has five points overall in that span. He was traded to the Coyotes from the Chicago Blackhawks last November, but then went down with a knee injury in January, which ended his season.

"I'm just getting to scoring areas and using my shot a little bit more than I usually do," Schmaltz told reporters after the win against Winnipeg. "Sometimes, they go in stretches, so just stick with it. You're not going to score every game so just play the same way, and make sure I'm shooting the puck when I get a chance."

Dvorak had two goals in a 4-2 win against the Jets on Tuesday night.

"They've got some chemistry right now," Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said of Schmaltz and Dvorak.

--Field Level Media

What to Read Next