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Smith posts shutout in NHL debut

Oct 22, 2006 - 5:14 AM GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Mike Smith's first NHL game was one to remember.

With Marty Turco taking the night off, Smith made 22 saves and Mike Ribeiro scored his third goal of the season as the Dallas Stars cruised to a 4-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Smith, a 2001 fifth-round selection, turned away nine shots in the first period, eight in the second and just five in the third to seal the shutout.

"The kid (Smith) has had good debuts in whatever league he has been in," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "I don't think it was anything spectacular, but our team played very well in front of him and he made the stops he had to make.

"He had some happy feet at the start but that is natural, but he settled down and played very solid. When you haven't given up any (goals) after your first start, that is not a bad start."

"I didn't feel as bad as I thought I would in the beginning," Smith said. "All the guys have been giving me good advice and told me to go out there and have fun. You only get your first once so enjoy it when you are out there.

"It was a great experience and now I have to build on that one if it can get any better. ... I wanted to go out there and prove not only to the coaches but to my teammates that if I am in the game, they are going to have confidence in me."

Smith attributed some of his success to his teammates.

"I think our guys blocked more shots then me," Smith said. "When that happens you are going to win a lot of games. Really, the scoring chances were limited at my end. That is the most exciting game I have played in since I scored a goal."

The last goaltender to accomplish a shutout in his first game was Yann Danis for the Montreal Canadiens on October 12, 2005. That came against the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Stars gave Smith the lead for good halfway through the first period when Ribeiro buried the rebound of Brenden Morrow's slap shot that was turned away by Coyotes netminder Curtis Joseph.

Mike Modano and defensemen Philippe Boucher and Darryl Sydor also tallied for Dallas, which outshot Phoenix, 32-22, in winning for the seventh time in eight games this season.

Steve Ott added two assists for the Stars.

Joseph stopped 28 shots for the Coyotes, who absorbed their second straight shutout.

"Eventually we have to show up," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "Other than (Enver) Lisin and (Oleg) Saprykin, we are not creating offense. Everyone wants to stand on the sideboards but nobody wants to get in front of the net, and you score from in front of the net.

"You have to score goals in big situations. That is a good player. Good players on good teams score big goals and we are not getting that now."

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