Don’t you love boxscore oddities? The NHL provided the latest bizarre statistic as Dallas Stars goaltender Antti Niemi earned the win for his team … without making even one save.
The Stars led the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 heading into the third period. Kari Lehtonen started the game for the Stars and appeared to be on cruise control with his team holding a commanding lead. Things changed and changed in a hurry for the Stars as the Hurricanes rattled off four unanswered goals over the course of 11 minutes. With just over six minutes to go in the third and the game tied, the Stars pulled Lehtonen in favor of Niemi.
Here’s where things get weird.
Niemi stood between the pipes for six minutes and 43 seconds and the Hurricanes managed zero shots on goal. The Stars soon found the winner through Patrick Sharp with 19 seconds left in the game. As the final horn sounded, Niemi picked up the win even though he never recorded a save.
This incident, which seems like it’d be a rare occurrence, actually happened just a couple years ago in 2013. Coincidentally, Lehtonen was also the starting goaltender pulled in that instance as well.
Antti Niemi is the first goalie to win a game when facing 0 shots since Richard Bachman on March 29, 2013…He also replaced Kari Lehtonen
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) December 9, 2015
Niemi improved to 11-4-2 on the year, but few wins will come as easy as this one against Carolina.