WASHINGTON (AP) -- Brian Boucher deflected the attention as easily as the
Washington Capitals' shots.
Boucher became the first NHL goalie in almost 55 years to record four
consecutive shutouts, making 27 saves in the Phoenix Coyotes' 3-0 victory over
Washington on Wednesday night.
"I've had some help along the way, but ... you need luck on your side,
too," Boucher said. "They hit some posts and guys have been blocking a lot of
The last goalie with four straight shutouts was Montreal's Bill Durnan, who
accomplished the feat from Feb. 26-March 6, 1949.
Boucher stretched his shutout streak to 265:45, and trails only Durnan's
modern-era NHL record of 309:21, also set in 1949.
Boucher will be back in goal Friday night in Minnesota, where the Coyotes
close a four-game road trip.
"It's pretty unbelievable," Boucher said. "Hopefully, I can ride it
through until Friday."
Phoenix coach Bob Francis left little doubt that Boucher will start against
"What would you do?" Francis said. "I'm not stupid."
Shane Doan had a goal and an assist and Damond Langkow and Ladislav Nagy
also scored for the Coyotes, 4-0-4 in their last eight road games.
Two first-period goals gave the Coyotes -- and Boucher -- some breathing room.
"Our formula has been to come out and have a strong first period and go
with the mind-set that it's going to be a low-scoring game," Francis said.
The Capitals have lost three straight and are 0-6-1 in their last seven,
scoring only eight goals during that stretch.
"We obviously ran into a hot goalie," Washington's Mike Grier said. "We
had a terrible first period and we put ourselves behind the 8-ball again."
Boucher, elevated from third string when Zac Bierk sustained a groin injury
in mid-November, faced only six shots in the first period, but had to make two
tough saves. Grier stole the puck from Nagy in the neutral zone, but Boucher
gloved Grier's snap shot from the right circle at 7:12.
Phoenix opened the scoring on Doan's unassisted goal -- his 17th goal of the
season -- with 4:16 left in the first period. He scored on a rising wrist shot
moments after Washington flubbed a three-on-two break.
Langkow made it 2-0 with 1:56 left in the period, converting a short pass
from Doan on the left boards. Langkow swept the puck past goalie Olaf Kolzig
from the left circle.
Just 1:29 into the second period, Grier had another good chance, but Boucher
pushed the puck clear with his glove. Washington failed on two power plays that
produced four shots late in the third period, including a 25-second two-man
Nagy scored an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left.