A dazzling Darcy Kuemper made 49 saves to lead the Arizona Coyotes past the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Saturday in Edmonton, preventing the Coyotes from going down 3-0 and giving the new life in their playoff series.
Colorado still leads the best-of-seven set 2-1, but the Coyotes have a renewed faith in their chances heading into Monday’s Game 4.
For that, they can thank Kuemper, who held strong despite an Avalanche onslaught for much of the afternoon. Kuemper recorded 20 saves in the first period alone, which set a franchise record for most saves in a postseason period. He held the record of 19, set earlier this summer against the Nashville Predators. It’s also the second time this summer that Kuemper has won despite facing more than 50 shots on goal.
Knowing the importance of a strong start, the Coyotes came out with their best effort and were rewarded when Derek Stepan opened the scoring at 6:29 of the game. After a Colorado turnover, Stepan went to the front of the net and one-timed a pass from Clayton Keller for the tally. It’s the first time in the series that Arizona held a lead.
From there, though, the Avalanche carried the play and drew even when Andre Burakovsky lit the lamp at 13:12 of the second period. Just after his team’s power play expired, Burakovsky’s shot from the high slot ricocheted off the shin pad of Arizona defenseman Alex Goligoski to make it 1-1. It was Colorado’s 31st shot on goal.