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Oct 23, 11:04 PM EDT

Kuemper stops 26 shots in Wild shutout of Coyotes

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves for his third shutout of the season, and defenseman Jared Spurgeon had two assists to lead the Minnesota Wild past the Arizona Coyotes 2-0 on Thursday night.

Kuemper has allowed just two goals in four starts, and has all three of Minnesota's victories this season.

Arizona's Mike Smith entered the game having allowed at least four goals in each of his three starts this season. But he stopped 27 of 29 shots and blanked the Wild for all but a three-minute stretch early in the second period.

Charlie Coyle opened the scoring with his second goal of the season, and Jason Pominville made it 2-0 less than four minutes later.

Smith stonewalled Zach Parise on a point-blank shot a minute and a half into the second, then smothered Parise's wrist shot from the left circle at the end of that shift.

But a minute later, Minnesota jumped ahead when Coyle redirected in Spurgeon's wrist shot from the high slot. Pominville doubled the lead when he completed a crisp passing play from Spurgeon and Parise by firing a slap shot that beat Smith over his right shoulder.

Arizona appeared to have cut its deficit in half early in the third period when Kyle Chipchura slipped a shot past Kuemper, but B.J. Crombeen was in the crease, and the goal was disallowed due to interference.

Minnesota's power play woes continued, as the Wild went 0-for-3 to fall to 0-for-19 to start the season. But the Wild's penalty-killing unit maintained its strong play, blanking Arizona on two power plays. Minnesota has killed 14 of 15 penalties this season.

The Coyotes went on the power play with 7:30 to play when Spurgeon flung the puck over the boards in his defensive zone, but the Wild's Matt Cooke had the best scoring chance in the next two minutes as he narrowly missed converting an open-net opportunity with Smith out of position.

After opening the season with a pair of shutouts by Kuemper over Colorado, the Wild lost consecutive 2-1 games at Anaheim and Los Angeles. They hadn't played since that loss to the Kings, and their rust showed early.

Arizona outshot Minnesota 6-2 in the opening five minutes and dictated the pace through much of the scoreless first period.

NOTES: Arizona C Martin Hanzal missed the game with a lower-body injury. Coyotes RW David Moss left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and didn't return. . Minnesota was down a pair of defensemen as Keith Ballard and Christian Folin sat out because of illness.

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