Ducks rookie goalie Kevin Boyle posts shutout in first start to end Anaheim's losing skid
It was also Ducks GM Bob Murray's first game as interim coach
They say all good things must come to an end, but all bad things must come to an end as well. Yes, even the Anaheim Ducks' very bad losing streak.
That horrendous seven-game losing skid was snapped on Wednesday night in Anaheim when the Ducks topped the Canucks by a final score of 1-0 at home. And while the Ducks winning a game is a pretty shocking development under any circumstances at this point (they've now done it three times since Dec. 18), this latest one came under pretty wild circumstances.
With their top three goalies on the depth chart sidelined due to various injuries, the Ducks called upon 26-year-old Kevin Boyle to make his first career start on Wednesday. Boyle had spent his season in the AHL with relatively modest numbers (.909 save percentage in 30 games for the San Diego Gulls) before being called up by the big club earlier this month, making an appearance in relief last week.
But it was Boyle's crease on Wednesday night, and he seized the moment. He stopped all 35 Vancouver shots sent his way and recorded the shutout in his first career start, earning obvious First Star honors in the process. He becomes only the second Ducks goalie ever to record a shutout in his first start.
It was obviously a pretty massive moment for the rookie, and his great performance came at a huge moment for a club that desperately needed a positive. Boyle's reaction after the final horn was pretty tremendous.
Wednesday also marked the first game behind the bench for general manager Bob Murray, who is serving as the team's interim head coach for the rest of the season. Murray, who doesn't have prior coaching experience,over the weekend.
The Ducks had lost 19 of their previous 21 games and had been outscored 37-8 over the course of their seven-game losing streak. They've had major troubles putting the puck in the back of net and still currently rank last in the NHL in offense, but Boyle made sure they needed only one Wednesday.
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