Bryzgalov notches 2nd straight shutout in Coyotes win
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 26 shots for his second straight shutout and Radim Vrbata scored twice to lift the Phoenix Coyotes to a 3-0 win over the struggling Colorado Avalanche Monday night.
Bryzgalov had 25 saves in a 1-0 win over Minnesota on Saturday and followed that with another sterling performance to give Phoenix consecutive shutouts for the first time since Brian Boucher set the modern-day NHL record with five straight in 2003-04. It was his 21st career shutout and fifth this season.
The last Phoenix goalie to post shutouts in consecutive starts was Curtis Joseph, who did it with a game off in between in 2006-07.
Scottie Upshall also scored for the Coyotes, who had allowed 11 straight goals before Bryzgalov's scoreless streak.
Colorado is waiting for former NHL MVP Peter Forsberg to rejoin the team and certainly could use him after being shut out in consecutive games. The Avalanche didn't get many chances against Bryzgalov early and failed on four power-play chances to lose their fourth straight game.
Phoenix was coming off one of its best and perhaps biggest wins of the season.
Mired in a two-week funk sprinkled with occasionally — and uncharacteristically — uninspired effort, the Coyotes were superb at both ends in a 1-0 win over Minnesota on Saturday that ended a five-game home losing streak.
The Coyotes picked up where they left off, hounding the Avs in their zone while creating plenty of good chances at the other end.
Ray Whitney set up the first goal with hard work, stripping a puck from behind in Colorado's zone and feeding it to Hanzal, who crossed it to Vrbata for a one-timer and his 12th goal.
Upshall made it 2-0 with just over two minutes left in the second, flipping in a shot past Craig Andersen after Kyle Turris' shot hit a skate out front.
Colorado has been mired in one of its worst stretches of the season, losing five of six, but got some good news on Sunday, when Forsberg signed on for the rest of the season.
The 37-year-old travelled with the team to the desert and went through the morning skate, but didn't play due to immigration issues. He could be cleared to play as early as Wednesday against Minnesota, but the Avs could have used him — or at least the previous incarnation of him.
Colorado got a couple of good chances early, including one that clanged off the post, but didn't do much after that, managing six shots on goal in the first period and just a couple more until midway through the second.
The Avalanche came up empty on two power plays within a two-minute span in the second and found themselves down three and on the way to another shutout after Vrbata knocked in a loose puck midway through the third.