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 shots.”
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 the Wild.
“What would you do?” Francis said. “I’m not stupid.”
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 advantage.
Nagy scored an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left.
The Capitals placed RW Dainius Zubrus (broken foot) on injured reserve and recalled LW Alexander Semin, who had been with the Russian team in the world junior championships. … Capitals RW Peter Bondra returned to the lineupafter missing four games because of a groin injury.