SEATTLE (AP)Marc-Andre Fleury made NHL history and all he could do was smile at what it meant.
”I think it just means I’m old, maybe,” Fleury said after getting a shutout against the 28th different team, the most by any goalie in NHL history. ”I have been playing for a while, I guess.”
Fleury posted the 72nd regular season shutout of his career and made Mats Zuccarrello’s goal late in the first period stand up as the Minnesota Wild snapped Seattle’s five-game win streak with a 1-0 win over the Kraken on Friday night.
Fleury had been tied with Ed Belfour, Dominik Hasek, Martin Brodeur and Tomas Vokoun, all of which shut out 27 teams in their careers. The only teams Fleury hasn’t shut out at this point: Columbus, St. Louis, Vegas and … Minnesota.
Fleury made 28 saves and was excellent in the third period as Seattle pushed for an equalizer, getting his first shutout in his 22nd regular season game with the Wild. Fleury made three stops in the closing seconds on Oliver Bjorkstrand and Yanni Gourde.
”Just seems like when we play them at home or here it’s boring a bit and not too much action both sides,” Fleury said. ”We played a little defensive and didn’t give them much. It’s good. It gives us a chance to win every night when we do that.”
Fleury had four shutouts last season with Chicago before being traded to Minnesota.
Zuccarello scored his sixth of the season at 18:19 of the first period, finding open space in the slot and beating Seattle goalie Martin Jones.
Jones made 20 saves in another strong performance for Seattle. His stop on Mason Shaw’s short-handed breakaway attempt early in the third period kept Seattle’s deficit at just one but the Kraken couldn’t find a tying goal.
”We couldn’t find a way to get one in behind so it’s that kind of night,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. ”You got to find a dirty one, a greasy one somewhere and we weren’t able to do that tonight.”
The Kraken saw their longest win streak in the two seasons of the franchise come to an end. Part of that win streak was a 4-0 win in Minnesota last week where Seattle got the better of Fleury.
He wasn’t going to let that happen again. Fleury has allowed one goal or fewer in three of his last four starts after giving up 24 goals combined in his first seven of the season.
”He admitted he was trying to do a little bit too much instead of just do his job. We all did. When we get back to doing your job, committing to that, like he has, it gives a give us a chance to win every night,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said.
Minnesota’s goal came late in the first period when Jon Merrill’s cross-ice pass ricocheted off the side boards and slid onto the stick of Zuccarello unmarked in the slot. His wrist shot beat Jones.
It was Merrill’s first point of the season in his 10th game. Kirill Kaprizov also got an assist on the play, giving him 16 points in 14 games.
NOTES: Seattle played its first game since D Jamie Oleksiak landed on injured reserve with a lower body injury. Cale Fleury moved into the lineup for the first time this season, while Gustav Olofsson was recalled from Coachella Valley. … Minnesota forward Jordan Greenway had a setback as he continues to recover from an upper-body injury suffered last month, Evason said after morning skate. Greenway played on Tuesday in Los Angeles, but it was just his second appearance of the season and first since Oct. 20. Evason said Greenway, ”may need a little more time rehabbing to get back.” … Seattle D Adam Larsson skated in his 700th career game.
Wild: Minnesota returns home to host San Jose on Sunday.
Kraken: Seattle hosts Winnipeg on Sunday.
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