GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 22: Goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Phoenix Coyotes stretches before taking on the Los Angeles Kings in Game Five of the Western Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
We are merely 43 days away from Coyotes hockey. Therefore, our preseason countdown has reached the number 43. The number 43 will be represented by the date April 3 (4/3). On that date, all Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith did was post a 54-save shutout, his third shutout in a row.
Smith posted a 54-save shutout at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 3. The 54-save shutout was the NHL record for most saves in a regular season shutout. This extended Smith's shutout streak to 219 minutes and 59 seconds, the second longest shutout streak in Coyotes history. It was also Smith's eighth shutout of the season tying a Coyotes record.
Forward Boyd Gordon showed his grit and dedication when he blocked two shots about 13 seconds apart. Gordon limped around the ice after blocking a slap shot from Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Nikita Nikitin. Just seconds later, Gordon laid down in front of another Nikitin slap shot and blocked that one too. Gordon would leave the game momentarily but would return. Gordon would also be credited with the game winning goal.
The Coyotes defeated the Blue Jackets 2-0. The win put the Coyotes in a tie for the division lead, a lead they would take sole ownership of three days later. The game was also the final regular season home game of the 2011-2012 season for the Coyotes.