GAME: Phoenix Coyotes (13-12-11-2) at Carolina Hurricanes (12-16-8-2).
TIME: Sunday, 1:30 p.m. EST.
Not long ago, Brian Boucher was the third-string goaltender on the Phoenix
A few more games like his last two, and he may be pushing for the starting
job on a regular basis.
The Coyotes will try to win three straight games for the first time since
the opening week of the season when they continue a four-game road trip against
the punchless Carolina Hurricanes.
Boucher stopped 35 shots Friday and recorded his second consecutive shutout
in a 6-0 victory at Dallas.
Boucher, third on the Coyotes' depth chart earlier this season behind Sean
Burke and Zac Bierk, turned aside 21 shots Wednesday in a 4-0 win over visiting
Los Angeles. Boucher has not allowed a goal in 140 minutes, 45 seconds, and is
unbeaten in his last six decisions (3-0-3).
"It's nice to contribute," Boucher said after his ninth career shutout
Friday. "Any time you can contribute and help your teammates, it's a nice
feeling. It's a team game and these guys play hard every single night, so when
I get in there, I certainly want to do my part to give them the chance to
Captain Shane Doan, Chris Gratton, and Daymond Langkow each had a goal and
an assist Friday for the Coyotes, winners of a season-high three straight to
open the season.
"I thought we executed really well in different areas," Phoenix coach Bob
Francis said. "A lot of guys stepped forward and we got a lot of challenges."
While Boucher has been excellent lately, Burke has just one win his last six
Doan, on pace for the best season of his career, has seven goals and nine
assists in his last 12 games.
A weak offense continues to be the biggest problem facing new Hurricanes
coach Peter Laviolette.
Carolina, the NHL's lowest-scoring team, failed to score more than two goals
for the 10th straight game Friday in a 4-1 loss to Detroit.
The Hurricanes are 4-4 under Laviolette and have scored 12 goals in those
"We've got to stay positive," defenseman Glen Wesley said. "We got
ourselves into this thing and we've got to get ourselves out. There is nothing
else to say. It's getting old around here."
While Carolina has struggled to score, Kevin Weekes has provided the team
with very strong goaltending. Weekes, however, was pulled Friday after allowing
two goals on seven shots in the first period.