Rookie goaltender Karel Vejmelka made 46 saves for his first NHL shutout to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 1-0 road victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.
Antoine Roussel scored the game’s only goal, giving the Coyotes all the offense they needed on Vejmelka’s special night.
Winnipeg outshot Arizona by a 46-15 margin, marking the Jets’ second-highest shot total of the season and the Coyotes’ lowest total of the season.
Despite the lopsided offensive numbers, the Jets simply couldn’t solve Vejmelka, whose performance put him into the league record books. Vejmelka’s 46 saves were the most by any goalie in NHL history in their first shutout.
After beginning his career with a 0-9-1 record and .879 save percentage, Vejmelka has now won consecutive starts in impressive fashion. Veljmelka stopped 37 of 38 shots in his last game, a 2-1 Arizona victory over the Los Angeles Kings on November 21.
The Jets are 1-5-1 over their last seven games, due in large part to a lack of offense. Winnipeg has scored only nine goals in those seven games, despite a 258-218 shots edge over opponents.
Amid all this Winnipeg pressure, Roussel opened the scoring 17:59 into the second period. After a Jets turnover near center ice, Loui Eriksson sent a backhanded pass to Roussel at the side of the net for the score.
It was Roussel’s third goal of the year, and his second in as many games. The forward’s last goal streak came in December 2019, when Roussel scored three goals over two games as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
The Coyotes suddenly had their first lead of the season through two periods, and then had to bear down for 8:08 minutes of short-handed hockey during the third period.
Winnipeg couldn’t score on any of these power-play opportunities, finishing the game 0-for-6 with the extra attacker. Over their last 12 games, the Jets have only two goals in 34 power-play opportunities.
Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped 14 of 15 shots.
–Field Level Media