NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Colorado
(Wednesday, April 1st)
Final Score: Phoenix 3, Colorado 0
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Good things do indeed come to those who wait.
Al Montoya turned away all 23 shots he faced to notch a shutout in his long- awaited NHL debut, as the Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 3-0, in a clash at Pepsi Center between teams that aren't bound for the postseason.
A standout at the University of Michigan, Montoya, the first Cuban-American to play in the league, backstopped Team USA to the gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Championship and was taken sixth overall by the Rangers later that year.
"It is unreal to get the win," said Montoya. "It felt good. The guys really battled for me."
Shane Doan, Mikkel Boedker and Zbynek Michalek scored for the Coyotes, who have won three of their last four games. Phoenix hasn't reached the playoffs since 2002, when the club was expelled in the first round by San Jose.
Andrew Raycroft made 32 saves for the Avalanche, who are 0-7-1 in their last eight games, the longest winless streak since the franchise relocated from Quebec following the lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign.
The combination of injuries and unsteady goaltending has the once-mighty Avalanche in unfamiliar territory: taking up residency in the basement of the Western Conference with 64 points. Colorado is out of the postseason picture for the second time in three years.
"He played really well," Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles said of Montoya. "He really made the saves he had to make tonight."
Boedker opened the scoring at the 6:28 mark of the first period. With Phoenix buzzing around the net, the rookie left winger emerged from the goal mouth scramble with possession of the puck and buried it past Raycroft.
After an uneventful middle frame, Doan dashed down the right-wing boards and released a booming slap shot that beat Raycroft on the stick side at 7:17 of the third period.
Michalek added an empty-net tally in the dying seconds.
Doan pumped in his 30th goal of the season, matching his career-high set in 2005-06...Colorado forward Ryan Smyth left the game in the second period with a hand injury...The Avalanche have been shut out nine times this season.
04/02 00:01:18 ET