The Canadiens, who are without top defenseman Shea Weber (out for the season after foot surgery), captain Max Pacioretty (knee) and goaltender Carey Price (concussion), have lost five games in a row (0-3-2).
Just 2 1/2 weeks after being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings — and one night after being worked over in a 5-2 loss at Colorado — the goalkeeper earned his 11th career shutout with a 1-0 victory over Vancouver on Sunday night, his and Arizona’s second win over the Canucks in four days.
The Sharks made it 3-1 early in the second when Labanc poked in a rebound after Howard stopped Tierney on a breakaway.
“We’ve played I don’t know how many games in about eight days or 10 days, but it’s a lot of games it seems like,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “And to have the legs to be able to do what they’re doing and put the game away is pretty good.”
The Spurs, who were without leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, got 14 points each from Bryn Forbes and Derrick White. They lost for the fifth time in six games as they fight for a playoff spot.
The Coyotes kept their recent surge going as defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the game-winning goal Sunday at 15:07 of the second period, his 10th goal of the season. His 27 game-winning goals since he broke into the NHL in 2010-11 are the most among NHL defensemen during that time.
“I’d rather be battling for a playoff spot than scoring goals,” Ekman-Larsson said. “At the same time, it means I’m doing something good out there. I’ve been getting some good looks lately and it’s nice to see them go in.”
Kuemper, acquired from the Kings last month, seems to be getting a good look at opposing pucks these days. He’s started the last four Coyotes games due to starter Antti Raanta’s lower-body injury. He gave up only one goal in the two Coyotes victories against Vancouver, though he was also in net for a 5-2 loss at Colorado on Saturday.
“Every start, I feel more and more comfortable with the team,” said Kuemper, who Cheap Custom NFL Jerseys was 10-1-3 with Los Angeles before the Kings traded him.
If Raanta can’t go again Tuesday night, Kuemper could oppose Jack Campbell Cheap Bruins Jerseys, who replaced him as Quick’s backup.