Stat Line of the Night — 1/28/2013 — Chad Johnson
One season after making the Western Conference Finals, thanks in large part to their solid defensive play and goaltending, the Phoenix Coyotes have struggled mightily to keep the puck out of their net. Through their first five games of the season, they have allowed a total of 20 goals (an average of four per game), resulting in a 1-4 record over that span.
Goaltending has been the Coyotes’ biggest issue thus far, as starter Mike Smith went down with an injury early in the season, while backup Jason LaBarbera has allowed eight goals against over his last two starts. That forced the Coyotes to turn to 26-year-old Chad Johnson on Monday night, and the former Ranger didn’t disappoint in his first start for Phoenix.
Making just his fifth career start between the pipes in an NHL game, Johnson looked more like a wily vet, as he stopped all 21 shots he faced against the Nashville Predators, en route to the 4-0 victory and his first career shutout.
Mike Smith is expected to miss a few more games with a lower body injury, but it appears as though the Coyotes have finally found a reliable replacement, as Chad Johnson earns “The Stat Line of the Night” for Monday, January 28, 2013.