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Coyotes goalie debuts with shutout win

DENVER – Al Montoya didn’t look like a guy making his NHL debut.

Montoya made 23 saves to earn a shutout, Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan scored a goal each, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the reeling Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Wednesday night.

“I couldn’t let this feel like my first game,” Montoya said. “I had to play it like I’ve been here before. That’s the attitude I came with.”

Montoya, recalled from the AHL on March 23, led the Coyotes to their third win in four games. He faced only five shots in the first period and three in the third but came up with the big saves when needed.

“I thought early in the game he made a couple of key saves. It was a real solid effort for a guy playing his first NHL game,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. “Good for him. Hopefully this is something good to go from here.”

Boedker gave Phoenix the early lead with his 11th goal. He picked up the loose puck out of a scrum in front, moved to his left, and wristed a shot past goalie Andrew Raycroft 6:28 into the game.

Doan scored his 30th goal of the season with 12:43 left, and Zbynek Michalek added an empty-netter with 2.2 seconds remaining.

It wasn’t until Michalek’s goal that Montoya relaxed and enjoyed the shutout.

“Not until the last 3 seconds when we scored,” he said. “It’s unreal to get the win, but at the same time it’s icing on the top.”

Raycroft had 32 saves for the Avalanche, who have lost eight straight.

“It definitely has been a different experience than in the past,” said Milan Hejduk, one of three players left from Colorado’s 2001 Stanley Cup championship team. “It has been difficult for me. I can’t picture this team having losing streaks like other teams.”

Penguins 6, Devils 1: At Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby scored power-play goals as the Penguins finished 6-1-1 during the longest homestand in franchise history.

Capitals 5, Islanders 3: At Washington, Mike Green’s two power-play goals less than 1 1/2 minutes apart in the third period and Alex Ovechkin’s NHL-leading 54th tally helped Washington close in on a second consecutive division title.

Maple Leafs 3, Flyers 2: At Toronto, Jamal Mayers, Lee Stempniak and Ian White scored for already-eliminated Toronto in a win over Philadelphia.

Thrashers 3, Sabres 2, OT: At Atlanta, Ilya Kovalchuk scored on an unassisted breakaway with 29.9 seconds left in overtime to lift Atlanta over Buffalo.

Blackhawks 3, Blues 1: At Chicago, Nikolai Khabibulin made 16 saves, and Jonathan Toews, Samuel Pahlsson and Colin Fraser scored for Chicago, which snapped St. Louis’ five-game winning streak.

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