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  1. NHL

NHL: Perfect shot needed to beat Avs' Kuemper

After making 23 saves to shut-out the Vegas Golden Knights 2-0 on Wednesday, Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said only the perfect shot will beat netminder Darcy Kuemper in his current form.

The Avalanche, 9/2 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, have begun 2022 in sensational style going 17-0-2 through 19 games and they have won a season high six straight away games.

Avalanche in fine form

Only two other NHL teams in history have gone longer into a new year without a regulation loss, Chicago Blackhawks, 24, in 2013 and Montreal Canadiens, 22, in 1978.

By recording the win against the Golden Knights, 31-year-old Kuemper set an Avalanche record with 17 consecutive games with at least one point (15-0-2).

Overall, the 6'5" Canadian has 24 wins in 34 starts, a .921 save-percentage and 2.38 goals-against-average.

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Kuemper is enjoying a first season with the Avalanche after being acquired from the Arizona Coyotes in the off-season to replace Philipp Grubauer who moved to the Seattle Kraken. 

Kuemper earns Bednar praise

After winning the President's Trophy last season, Colorado again lead all NHL teams with a 35-9-4 record.

Their .771 points-per-game percentage betters that of last season when they went 39-13-4 equalling .732 over 56 games.

Bednar, who signed a two-year extension with the Avalanche in November 2021 said about his goalie after the Vegas victory: "(Kuemper) made some big saves for us. We were fighting to make sure he could see the puck...You have to make the perfect shot to beat him right now."

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