By Jose M. Romero
The Associated Press
GLENDALE — The Coyotes are trying to take things one game at a time, and suddenly they’re in contention for a Western Conference wild-card spot with a six-game winning streak.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Vinnie Hinostroza each had a goal and assist, and the surging Coyotes beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1. The Coyotes have won six in a row for the first time since Feb. 16-28, 2012.
Josh Archibald added his 10th goal of the season for Arizona, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 22 shots for his seventh straight win.
“That’s the heartbeat of a team, the goaltending,” Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said of Kuemper, who took over as the No. 1 goalie when Antti Raanta went down with an injury in late November. “He knows nine out of 10 games he’s going to play, and he’s taken it to a different level.”
Dylan Larkin scored for Detroit, which has lost five straight. Jimmy Howard finished with 41 saves.
“I’d say it’s a step forward, but it’s another loss. We’ve got to make sure we come out and our details on our game are great,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “With each individual guy, we’ve got to make sure we’re giving it our all and working through it, because the only way we’re going to get out of this is working through it.”
Hinostroza scored with the Coyotes clinging to a one-goal lead, putting in a rebound of his own shot after the goal horn sounded prematurely at 4:37 of the third period.
The Red Wings had let up and thought the goal should’ve been disallowed, but after review it was deemed to be good, and the Coyotes moved out to a 3-1 lead.
“Every day’s a playoff game,” Hinostroza said. “Whomever I’m on the ice with is playing great. It’s just important for us to keep this going, and hopefully we’ll be there at the end.”
The Coyotes, who lost 6-1 to the Red Wings in Detroit in November, struck first on Saturday and outshot the Red Wings 44-23. Ekman-Larsson’s cross-ice pass found Archibald on the right wing, and his shot eluded Howard at 5:58 of the first period.
Before the period had ended, Ekman-Larsson registered his second point of the game. His shot from the left wing at 15:40 bounced up and crossed the goal line in midair before rattling out of the net.
Ekman-Larsson has a five-game point streak, with seven points in the span. He left for the dressing room midway through the second period after a mid-ice collision but returned after a few minutes.
“I kind of stuck my leg out a little bit and got caught with their guy, and got scared for a little bit. But it’s all good,” Ekman-Larsson said.
The Coyotes were inches from an even bigger lead, but Howard made a glove save on a shot by Hinostroza from close range with 10:51 left in the first.
The Red Wings got on the board at 7:35 of the second period, in the last second of a power play. Larkin stuffed in Niklas Kronwall’s pass, cutting the Coyotes’ lead to 2-1.
Larkin leads Detroit with 27 goals and 62 points.
Former Coyotes center Antoine Vermette, who registered 149 points in 291 career games with Arizona, dropped the ceremonial first puck before the game. … Ekman-Larsson reached 640 career games with the Coyotes, tied with Keith Tkachuk for sixth in franchise history. … The Coyotes played their first game this season without center Derek Stepan, who is out four to six weeks with a lower-body injury suffered Thursday against Vancouver. … Red Wings F Anthony Mantha played in his 200th career NHL game. … The Detroit bench was issued a bench minor penalty for delay of game early in the third period.
Detroit: At Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
Arizona: Hosts Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.