Final

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Arizona leads 1-0

Game 1: Sunday, January 4th
Coyotes3Final
Hurricanes0

Coyotes 3

(14-12-2, 41 pts)

Hurricanes 0

(12-17-2, 34 pts)

1:30 PM ET, January 4, 2004

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
ARI 0 2 13
CAR 0 0 00

B. Radivojevic (Coyotes - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

B. Boucher (Coyotes - G): Saves: 26, Save Pct.: 1.000

J. Hrdina (Coyotes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Boucher blanks 'Canes on 26 saves

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Brian Boucher and the Phoenix Coyotes made it look easy against the low-scoring Carolina Hurricanes.

Boucher made 26 saves for his third straight shutout, leading the Coyotes to a 3-0 victory Sunday.

Boucher has stopped 82 shots in the past three games and is unbeaten in seven starts (4-0-3).

"Right now the puck looks like a beach ball to him," Phoenix coach Bob Francis said. "He's following it, squaring up, getting sound positionally and his concentration level is outstanding."

The Coyotes have won three in a row and earned at least a point in nine straight games.

"Things are just going well and hopefully we can ride it for as long as possible," Boucher said.

Jan Hrdina had a goal and two assists for Phoenix, and Branko Radivojevic added three assists. Hrdina has 11 points in 11 games since returning from a toe injury.

Ladislav Nagy and defenseman Paul Mara also scored for the Coyotes.

Carolina goalie Jamie Storr, making his first start in 18 games, allowed three goals on 23 shots and remains winless this season (0-5-2).

The Hurricanes, the lowest-scoring team in the NHL, fell to 4-5 under coach Peter Laviolette, who replaced Paul Maurice on Dec. 15. They have scored just 12 goals in those nine games.

"We looked disinterested, which is inexcusable," Laviolette said.

Carolina could not convert on any of its three power-play chances and has two power-play goals in its last 45 opportunities.

Boucher preserved the shutout with a glove save on a point-blank shot from Ron Francis at 10:25 in the third period.

The Hurricanes' best scoring chances came in the scoreless first period. Boucher made two good saves, one on former Phoenix defenseman Danny Markov, early in the period and the other on a rebound try by Jeff O'Neill.

Carolina's Glen Wesley beat Boucher with about seven minutes left in the first period, but the puck clanged off the left post.

"There's a little bit of luck here," Boucher said. "If not, everybody would get a shutout every night."

The second period belonged to Hrdina, who missed 11 games in November and December with a fractured toe. He fed Radivojevic at the right post, who drew Storr out. Radivojevic then slid the puck to an open Nagy for an easy shot into an open net at 3:25, his team-leading 19th goal of the season.

At 14:19, Hrdina beat Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward to a rebound in the slot for the Coyotes' second goal. Mara added the third goal at 12:29 in the third.

Game notes


The Hurricanes have scored 16 goals in the first period in 39 games this season. For the season, they have an NHL-low total of 68. ... Former Carolina defenseman David Tanabe has five goals in his first 39 games with Phoenix. Tanabe, who was traded to Phoenix for Markov in the offseason, scored four goals in the previous two seasons with Carolina.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES