A franchise-record shutout streak allowed the Minnesota Wild to string together wins despite some tepid offensive production before that run ended in their latest game.
With top goaltender Devan Dubnyk still injured, the Wild could use a breakout performance from their scorers and would appear to have a promising chance against a team that's struggling mightily to keep opponents from lighting the lamp.
The Arizona Coyotes, though, return to the desert seeking their longest home win streak in two seasons Friday night, but they have often come up short lately against the Wild.
Minnesota (14-7-5) has totaled 13 goals in its last seven games but had won three in a row before a 2-1 overtime loss in Colorado on Monday. The Wild went 178:52 without giving up a goal until Tyson Barrie got a shot past Darcy Kuemper in the second period.
Zach Parise, however, assured his team would earn a point for a fifth consecutive game by scoring with 6:09 left in regulation.
Kuemper started after Dubnyk was forced to leave in Saturday's 3-0 home win over Colorado because of a strained groin. Dubnyk will stay behind in Minnesota when the team completes a three-game road stretch.
"He wasn't quite feeling 100 percent so there's no point in rushing things," coach Mike Yeo said after practice in Minnesota on Thursday. "It's getting closer. ... He just doesn't have full confidence in pushing side to side right now."
Kuemper will start Friday but it's unclear if he'll play the second half of back-to-back contests Saturday against San Jose. Kuemper recorded one of his five career shutouts in his only game against the Coyotes, stopping 26 shots in a 2-0 victory Oct. 23, 2014.
He might not need as much to outduel his Arizona counterpart this time given that the Coyotes have been outscored 24-10 in a season-high five consecutive losses. Mike Smith was charged with three goals on 21 shots in a 4-1 loss in St. Louis on Tuesday.
The Blues went ahead for good on a short-handed tally with nine seconds to go in the second period. Arizona has given up a league-worst seven goals while on a power play.
"They got a fortunate bounce on it, but we've seen too many of those happen this year," coach Dave Tippett said. "It was another story where we try hard and come up short."
Having played its first five games this month on the road, Arizona (13-14-1) will try to end its December drought with its first five-game home win streak since an eight-game run from Oct. 19-Nov. 16, 2013.
Minnesota is 2-4-4 in its last 10 road games but has won its last five at Arizona.
In a 4-3 victory Oct. 15 in Arizona, Parise had a goal and an assist to lead the Wild to a sixth consecutive overall win in the series. The winger has scored in each of the last three matchups, and has totaled nine goals and five assists in his 13 lifetime.
Arizona's Anthony Duclair has scored a goal in each of his first two games against the Wild, but he has one assist in his last seven games.
Max Domi had a goal and an assist in the latest meeting, but Arizona's leading goal scorer (10) has tallied two in his past 12 games.