ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Curtis Joseph isn't one to get caught up
in personal statistics, but even he started peeking at the NHL's
career victory list as he approached one of the game's best
"I looked at the list a little after 400," Joseph said. "It's
nice to be mentioned in the same breath as Grant Fuhr."
Joseph sparkled through two periods and was shaky in the third,
but held on to tie Fuhr with his 403rd career victory. Fuhr, the
former Edmonton star, is the Coyotes' goalie coach.
"That's like trying to compare Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan,"
said Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky, who teamed with Fuhr to win four
Stanley Cups in the 1980s. "They're both pretty special."
The Coyotes took advantage of an unusually poor night from Wild
goalie Dwayne Roloson, scoring three goals on their first six shots
to take control.
Recently acquired Yanick Lehoux scored his first career goal
just over a minute into the first period when his slap shot from
the right circle went through Roloson's legs on the first shot of
"I don't know what the record is for scoring the fastest goal
on your first shift, but that's got to be up there," Gretzky said.
"That's a great way to start your NHL career."
Mike Leclerc scored off a rebound 10 minutes later, and Comrie
made it 3-0 when he scored on a beautiful pass across the crease
from Mike Johnson with 6:30 to go in the period. Replays appeared
to show that Comrie kicked the puck into the net, but the officials
allowed the goal after a brief review.
Wild coach Jacques Lemaire replaced Roloson, who made just seven
saves on the night, with Manny Fernandez to start the second
period. It was the first time Roloson has been pulled from a game
since a 3-2 loss to San Jose on Oct. 12, 2003.
"At that point he was just trying to get the guys going,"
The Wild defense tightened in front of Fernandez, and he saved
seven of eight shots he faced to keep Minnesota in the game.
The Wild got on the board five minutes into the second when
Daniel Tjarnqvist's slap shot from the point beat Joseph high on
his glove side. Fittingly, it was a power-play goal. The Wild
entered the game an NHL-best 31 percent on the power play at home.
Later in the period, on another power play, Tjarnqvist tried to
do the same thing. But Joseph was ready, and he made a brilliant
glove save off the shot.
"He's always been among the top goaltenders," Lemaire said of
Joseph. "In the past and even today, too."
The Wild had a goal wiped off the board at the end of the second
after Kyle Wanvig appeared to stuff the puck past Joseph. It was
called a goal, but after a lengthy review, officials ruled the puck
never crossed the goal line completely.
Joseph wasn't nearly as impressive in the third period, when
Filip Kuba's clearing attempt on a Phoenix power play floated from
behind Minnesota's blue line and trickled between Joseph's legs
with 16 minutes to play.
"We deserved that one," Wanvig said. "We hit three posts and
missed two open nets. ... It didn't seem like it was meant to be
Comrie put the game away when he beat Fernandez off a pass from
Johnson with 2:35 to go.
"I think we gave them about six odd-man rushes and they scored
four goals on them," Lemaire lamented. "We played well, except
for a few little mistakes."
Glenn Hall and Martin Brodeur are tied for sixth with 407
victories. ... Wild C Wes Walz left the game in the second period
after taking a puck to the face but returned at the start of the
third. ... The Wild were 1-for-7 on the power play. ... Phoenix's
Keith Ballard, a former University of Minnesota star, had two
assists in his first regular-season game in his home state.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Xcel Energy Center Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Referees: Mike Leggo, Chris Rooney Linesmen: Darren Gibbs, Brad Lazarowich
Attendance: 18,568 (102.8% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Yanick Lehoux (1)
Assists: Keith Ballard, Derek Morris
Mike Leclerc (8)
Assists: Keith Ballard, Geoff Sanderson
Mike Comrie (5)
Assists: Mike Johnson, Ladislav Nagy
Daniel Tjarnqvist (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Randy Robitaille, Pascal Dupuis
Filip Kuba (3)
Mike Comrie (6)
Assists: Mike Johnson, David Tanabe