Kuempers Conditioning Start Spoiled By Stockton's Special Teams
Four third-period goals for Stockton, two by way of the power play and two more in empty net fashion, spoiled the conditioning loan start of Darcy Kuemper Saturday night at Tucson Arena.
After it was announced during the morning hours that the NHL All-Star was assigned to Southern Arizona as he works his way back to the Coyotes lineup following a lower-body injury, Kuemper came out of the gate strong, going seven-for-seven in the first period to highlight a scoreless 20 minutes for both sides.
Kuemper's first and lone lead of the night came just 1:40 into the second period when Kyle Capobianco placed a wrist shot through traffic from the point. Some methodical puck movement freed up the lane for the AHL All-Star, who now leads the league in points-per-game by a defenseman (min. 20 GP) with his 30thpoint in his 35thgame.
The Roadrunners lead would last over 23 minutes before the tables turned and it was them who paraded their way to the penalty box.
On their first power play chance of the third period Stockton was finally able to crack Kuemper, knotting the game at 1-1.
Only 3:24 later, another goal on the man advantage propelled them into the lead, one they'd never look back from.
Tucson would put together several cracks late in the third period, however, two more goals with Kuemper on the bench would extend the Heat's lead to the game's eventual final of a 4-1 score.
Despite suffering the loss, Kuemper was steady, strong and confident throughout, stopping 26 of 28 and allowing no goals at even strength.
The Roadrunners will next take on the San Diego Gulls Wednesday night at Tucson Arena.
THEY SAID IT
"It's been a long time but it felt great to get back into a game and get back competing again. It would've been nice to get the win but it felt good to be back out there for sure."
Roadrunners goaltender Darcy Kuemper post-game sharing his thoughts on his first game action since mid-December..
DON'T OVERLOOK IT
Forward Andy Miele setup Kyle Capobianco's power play goal, giving him a point for the sixth straight game .
Continuing to be an integral part in the faceoff dot and on the man advantage, Miele has been stellar for Tucson as of late, bringing his season total to 43 points in 51 games.
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