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Associated Press
Jan 5, 2007, 5:20 AM EST


Curtis Joseph is humbled by his place in NHL history.

The Coyotes' goalie earned his 49th shutout and 438th victory with a 2-0 win over Carolina on Thursday night.

Joseph passed Hall of Famer Jacques Plante for sole possession of fifth place on the NHL's career wins list, and followed his shutout over San Jose last week with another perfect performance.

"They are inventors and the greatest legends of the game, so if I can creep into the same company somehow, I'm very honored," Joseph said.

Next up for CuJo: Terry Sawchuk, who's fourth with 447 wins.

"With Curtis being fresh, he's playing better now than he did even last year," Gretzky said. "Last year, he was good at times. This year, right now, he's much more solid, much more in a zone."

Joseph made 29 saves and Yanic Perreault and Ed Jovanovski each scored to lead the Coyotes to their season-best fourth straight win.

"As long as the puck's staying out, that's good news," Joseph said. "There's a renewed optimism among this club, for sure. ... Guys blocking shots, a little bit of a swagger, and you need to have that. We're winning games on the road, we're winning close games and we weren't doing that earlier in the year."

In other NHL games, it was: San Jose 9, Detroit 4; the New York Rangers 3, Philadelphia 2; Washington 5, Montreal 1; Toronto 10, Boston 2; New Jersey 4, the New York Islanders 3; St. Louis 2, Chicago 0; Tampa Bay 3, Minnesota 2; Dallas 6, Edmonton 5 in a shootout; and Calgary 5, Florida 4 in overtime.

Cam Ward stopped 26 shots for the Hurricanes, who were blanked for the sixth time this season and were booed by the RBC Center crowd when they couldn't manage a shot on goal during a third-period power play. Carolina has been held scoreless in consecutive games for the first time since November 2003.

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