SAN JOSE --
Joe Pavelski and Andrew Desjardins scored two goals apiece and the San Jose Sharks beat the Coyotes, 6-3, on Saturday night at HP Pavilion in the 2011-12 season opener for both teams.
Captain Shane Doan
scored two power-play goals and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson
also scored on the man advantage for the Coyotes, who trailed 6-1 after two periods.
Goalie Mike Smith
stopped 46 of 52 shots in his debut with the Coyotes (0-0-1).
San Jose's Thomas Greiss made 26 saves in his first NHL start since March 28, 2010. Greiss, who was a backup to Evgeni Nabokov that season, was sent by San Jose on loan to Sweden last season after the team signed Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki as free agents.
Greiss signed again with the Sharks as a free agent this summer and got the chance to start with Niemi recovering from having a cyst removed and Niittymaki rehabbing from hip surgery. He didn't need to do much to earn this win.
The Sharks scored twice in the opening period and then broke the game open with a four-goal second as they scored three times overall on the power play.
Pavelski got both of his goals on the power play, adapting nicely to his new role down low with the man advantage after playing mostly at the point last year. He tapped in a pass from Marleau in the first and deflected Dan Boyle's point shot past Smith in the second to make it 5-1.
|Photo by Getty Images.
Pavelski changed roles on the power play and moved to the top line with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau after an offseason of moves that included the acquisition of All-Star defenseman Brent Burns.
Desjardins, who played just 17 games last season, took advantage of his increased role this year scoring twice in the second period (see KEY MOMENT
The Sharks started quickly, taking 13 of the game's first 14 shots and breaking out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. They struck first on the power play 14 seconds after Handzus drew a holding penalty from Taylor Pyatt
Burns did a good job pinching in from the point to keep possession of the puck and Patrick Marleau fed Pavelski from behind the net for an easy tap-in goal. It was a new spot for Pavelski, who played the point on the power play for most of last season.
Handzus drew another penalty a few minutes later but the Sharks were unable to score on the power play. He got on the scoresheet midway through the period when he beat Smith with a wraparound goal that made it 2-0.
► EDITOR'S NOTE:
Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com compiled this recap.
• Before the game, Head Coach Dave Tippett announced that center Martin Hanzal
will join Keith Yandle
as an alternate captain in 2011-12. Click here
to read more.
• Captain Shane Doan
scored the 297th and 298th goals of his NHL career. It was the 38th two-goal game of his NHL career.
• Defenseman Keith Yandle
played a game-high 31:04 and had two assists. It was the 27th multi-point game of his NHL career.
• Defenseman Michal Rozsival
was hit in the face by a shot by San Jose's Michal Handzus at the 6:18 mark of the first period. He left the ice and did not return to the game.
• Center Daymond Langkow
had an assist and won 9 of 13 faceoffs.
• The loss was the first for Phoenix in a season opener since the 2005-06 season. It was also Phoenix's sixth straight loss at HP Pavilion.
• The Coyotes allowed 52 shots on goal. That's the most shots the Coyotes have given up in a game since Feb. 8, 1997.
• The Coyotes scratched Petteri Nokelainen
, Patrick O'Sullivan
and David Schlemko
• The Coyotes' next game is Monday vs. Dallas at the American Airlines Center. The puck drops at 3 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).