Joseph made 29 saves in his second straight shutout and the
Phoenix Coyotes beat Carolina 2-0 on Thursday night in the
Hurricanes' second consecutive scoreless game.
"As long as the puck's staying out, that's good news," Joseph
said. "There's a renewed optimism among this club, for sure. ...
Guys blocking shots, a little bit of a swagger, and you need to
have that. We're winning games on the road, we're winning close
games and we weren't doing that earlier in the year."
The defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes have been shut out in each of their past two games: Tuesday at Pittsburgh (3-0) and Thursday vs. Phoenix (2-0). Over the past 50 years, only three other defending Cup champs were shut out in consecutive games: Toronto in December 1967, Edmonton in October 1990 and Colorado in November 2001.
"The team is playing with much more urgency, playing much more
as a team, scoring big goals when we have to and getting big saves
when we need them," coach Wayne Gretzky said. "I like how our
team is sitting right now, and I like how our guys are focused."
Especially Joseph, who had the 49th shutout and the 438th
victory of his 17-year career.
He surpassed Hall of Famer Jacques Plante for sole possession of
fifth place on the NHL's career wins list, and followed his 8-0
victory over San Jose last week with another perfect performance.
"With Curtis being fresh, he's playing better now than he did
even last year," Gretzky said. "Last year, he was good at times.
This year, right now, he's much more solid, much more in a zone."
Next up for CuJo: Terry Sawchuk, who's fourth with 447 wins.
"They are inventors and the greatest legends of the game, so if
I can creep into the same company somehow, I'm very honored,"
Cam Ward stopped 26 shots for the Hurricanes, who were blanked
for the sixth time this season and were booed by the RBC Center
crowd when they couldn't manage a shot on goal during a
third-period power play. Carolina has been held scoreless in
consecutive games for the first time since November 2003.
"They had a step on us, and they shouldn't," Hurricanes right
wing Justin Williams said. "We have a puck-chasing,
offensive-minded team, and no one should have the upper hand or a
step up on us. There are no words to describe the disappointment we
feel right now. We're a much better team than we're showing."
The defending Stanley Cup champions also have followed their
season-best five-game winning streak with losses in four of their
"It's not the attack we're used to seeing here, but there were
chances and they're not finding their way into the back of the
net," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said.
Carolina lost its fourth straight to the Coyotes and hasn't
defeated Phoenix since Nov. 12, 2002. The Coyotes' last visit to
Tobacco Road came exactly three years earlier, when they beat the
Hurricanes 3-0 on Jan. 4, 2004.
Perreault put Phoenix up 1-0 in the opening moments of the first
period. Oleg Saprykin chased down the puck in the corner and passed
near the goal to Perreault, who beat Ward with a backhand to his
glove side for his team-leading 12th goal of the season.
"I don't think their goalie saw me coming from the far side,
and I was trying to get a quick shot on net," Perreault said.
Jovanovski made it a two-goal game 26 seconds into the second
when a rebound bounced to him behind the left circle and he
one-timed it off Carolina left wing Erik Cole's stick and past
Carolina alternate captain Kevyn Adams (staph infection)
was scratched. In his place, LW Ray Whitney wore the "A" on his
sweater. ... The Coyotes played their first game since trading C
Mike Comrie to Ottawa for suspended Russian prospect Alexei
Kaigorodov. ... Perreault extended his points streak to five games
and has 21 points in 27 games with the Coyotes. ... Slumping
Carolina C Eric Staal has gone nine games without scoring a goal
and has just one in his last 15. ... The Coyotes improved to 2-0 on
their season-long five-game road swing.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: PNC Arena Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Referees: Kevin Pollock, Dean Warren Linesmen: Brad Kovachik, Steve Miller