The Phoenix Coyotes just turned to a goaltender who hadn't made an NHL start in three years. The result was the team's best defensive effort of the season.
With starter Mike Smith injured and backup Jason LaBarbera struggling, coach Dave Tippett may again turn to Chad Johnson on Wednesday night when the Coyotes go for their sixth consecutive victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers.
Called up from Portland of the AHL a day after Smith suffered a lower-body injury in last Wednesday's 5-1 win over Columbus, Johnson made his Coyotes debut a memorable one Monday, turning aside 21 shots in a 4-0 win over Nashville. It was his first shutout in five career NHL starts.
LaBarbera gave up four goals in each of the previous two games while starting for the injured Smith. Both were Phoenix losses.
"You're taking a chance on a young guy, but he stepped in and played real solid," Tippett said after Johnson made his first since Jan. 31, 2010, while with the New York Rangers. "Nothing fancy, j...