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On This Day [April 3]: Smith Stops 54 To Extend Shutout Streak

Mike Smith set an NHL record for saves (54) in a shutout performance on April 3, 2012

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

Mike Smith was nothing short of spectacular on April 3, 2012.

In fact, it was just a continuation of the goaltender's stellar play as the Coyotes drove toward their first division title in team history.

Smith stopped all 54 shots he faced that night to shoulder Phoenix to a 2-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. At the time, that set an NHL record for the most saves made in a shutout performance.

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Smith recorded his eighth shutout of the season in that win over Columbus, which tied a franchise record set years prior by Nikolai Khabibulin (1998-99) and Ilya Bryzgalov (2009-10).

It was also his third consecutive shutout at the time; he blanked both the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks earlier that week and stopped a combined 136 shots over those three outings.

"Smitty's been unbelievable," then-head coach Dave Tippett said. "Time after time, he's made big saves for us and it's been an incredible run, but this is three games in a row now."

Smith's trinitarian showcase of perfection didn't come without flair, as shown by his second period save on James Wisniewski.

"Some of [the shots] just found a way to hit me," he told reporters after the game. "And that glove save was more desperation than anything else. I threw up a jammer … whatever you have to do, right? It was a lucky one."

Smith's shutout sequence was snapped the following game on April 6, 2012, though he allowed only one goal in a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. He went 234:35 without allowing a goal, which is the 10th longest shutout sequence in modern-day NHL history.

Brian Boucher, another former Coyotes netminder, holds the modern-day NHL record with five consecutive shutouts from December 31, 2003 - January 9, 2004, a sequence of 332:01 without allowing a goal.

Smith also holds the franchise record for saves made (58) in a single game. That performance also came against the Blue Jackets -- on December 3, 2016.

Only Ben Scrivens has more saves in a shutout performance in NHL history than Smith, making 59 as a member of the Edmonton Oilers on January 30, 2014 against the San Jose Sharks.

The 2011-12 campaign was a career year for Smith, who registered bests in wins (38), saves (1,922), save percentage (.930), goals-against average (2.21) and shutouts (8).

Lead Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images

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