DALLAS - Rookie goaltender David LeNeveu will make his second NHL start tonight after the Coyotes left Curtis Joseph in Phoenix due to a slight groin strain.
Joseph, originally scheduled to start vs. Dallas, woke up Monday with tightness in his groin but went through a full practice with the team in the morning.
However, it didn’t loosen up, so Phoenix decided to go with LeNeveu. Joseph, 10th in the league with a 2.02 goals-against average, is listed as day-to-day.
Coach Wayne Gretzky said there is a chance Joseph could play Thursday vs. the Nashville Predators but added more than likely he won’t play again until Saturday vs. the Detroit Red Wings, whom Joseph played for the last two seasons.
Steve Passmore was called up from San Antonio to back up LeNeveu, and the Coyotes are expected to make room with a roster move today.
When Ladislav Nagy found the back of the net with a penalty shot Saturday against Minnesota, he became the first Coyote to score on such a play since Krys Kolanos buried the puck against Colorado’s Patrick Roy in March 2002, and only the 13th Phoenix player to attempt one since the team moved to the Valley in 1996.
When Minnesota’s Alexandre Daigle was awarded a penalty shot later in the game, it marked the first time in the history of the franchise it was involved in a game that featured two penalty shots.
But with rules changes aimed at producing more breakaways and cracking down on interference, hooking and holding, early indications are "the most exciting play in hockey" will become more frequent. Through the first five days of the season, four penalty shots had been taken.
"That’s probably indicative of the new NHL," Joseph said. "If it’s close, they’re going to call a penalty shot." It’s a move Gretzky welcomes.
"If guys deserve penalty shots, so be it. I’m glad the referees are going that route," he said.
Newly acquired forward Geoff Sanderson flew into Phoenix on Sunday night, went through his first practice with the Coyotes Monday morning and will be in the lineup tonight.
Gretzky said Sanderson possesses two attributes the team "really needed," goal scoring and speed. He will play on a line with Oleg Saprykin and Kolanos against the Stars.
Goalie Brian Boucher skated for about 30 minutes Sunday, the first time he has been on the ice since injuring his right groin in a preseason game Sept. 16.
No date has been set for his return.