NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Wednesday, January 7th
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (14-12-11-2) at Washington Capitals (11-25-4-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Brian Boucher seeks a piece of National Hockey League
goaltending history tonight when his Phoenix Coyotes visit the Washington
Capitals at the MCI Center.
Boucher has posted three consecutive shutouts entering the match, and can
match the modern-day NHL record with a blanking this evening. Montreal's Bill
Durnan established the mark with four-in-a-row from February 26-March 6, 1949.
Boucher, who is 4-0-3 in his last seven games, hasn't allowed a goal in 205
minutes, 45 seconds, which has already broken Nikolai Khabibulin's franchise
record set in 1997. Durnan's league standard for a shutout sequence is 309:21.
On Sunday, Boucher made 26 saves to back a 3-0 victory over Carolina in the
second portion of a four-game road trip. Ladislav Nagy, Jan Hrdina and Paul
Mara each scored goals for the Coyotes, who had lost two straight before their
current three-game winning streak. Branko Radivojevic assisted on all three
Nagy leads the team with 19 goals, and has recorded three scores and an assist
during a four-game point streak.
Phoenix, which has outscored opponents 13-0 during its spurt, is 3-0-4 in its
last seven road tilts. The Coyotes will visit Minnesota on Friday.
Washington, meanwhile, has dropped two straight and is winless in the last six
(0-5-1). On Sunday the Capitals dropped a 4-1 contest in Montreal. Michael
Ryder scored twice and added an assist to lead the Canadiens.
Joel Kwiatkowski tallied for the Capitals, who failed in their sixth try to
earn the 1,000th victory in franchise history. Maxime Ouellet stopped 30
shots in defeat.
The Capitals, with 27 points, are tied with Columbus for the second-worst
record in the NHL. Only Pittsburgh is lower, with 26 points.
Washington, 1-4-2 in its last seven home contests, begins a four-game
homestand tonight and will welcome Carolina to town on Friday.
The Caps and Coyotes split two meetings last season, with each club winning in
the other's rink. Phoenix is 4-2-3 in the last nine meetings, and 1-0-2 in its
last three trips to DC.
01/07 10:19:35 ET