Coyotes 3, Sharks 0
SAN JOSE -- Coyotes goalie Mike Smith made 31 saves in his 12th NHL shutout, and the Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks, 3-0, on Saturday night at HP Pavilion.
Radim Vrbata, Boyd Gordon and Patrick O'Sullivan scored goals for Phoenix (8-4-3), which will play four more road games before its next home game on Nov. 23.
Smith won for the fifth time in six games, and posted his first shutout with the Coyotes and his first since April 3, 2011.
“I know (Mike) Smith from Dallas," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "He has always been a good goaltender. I think it's a situation where the goaltender has to earn the trust of the players in front of him and they have to have the trust of their goaltender. Mike has come in and really stabilized that position. Our players have really fed off of how he has played.”
Smith handled the Sharks constant pressure in the third period and made 15 saves.
“It was a solid win," Tippett said. "We had a pretty good homestand and this was our first game on a long road trip and we wanted to play good in that first game. We wanted to redeem ourselves from the first game of the season (a 6-3 loss to the Sharks). We didn’t think we played very well in that game so we came out and had a very good effort from our goalie outward.”
|Photo by Getty Images.
Vrbata put Phoenix ahead 1-0 with 5:39 left in the first period when he took Ray Whitney's missed shot after it bounced off the endboards and put a shot past Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss for his team-high sixth goal of the season.
The Coyotes made the score 2-0 with 32 seconds left in the first period when Gordon slipped a shot under Greiss' right pad (see KEY MOMENT below).
O'Sullivan made the score 3-0 by stuffing in a shot from the low slot at 12:55 of the third period.
Greiss made his first appearance since setting a modern NHL record for the longest relief win - going 62 minutes, 52 seconds against Pittsburgh on Nov. 3.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com compiled this recap.
Leading 1-0 late in the first period, Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski
stole a pass in the neutral zone and headed into the San Jose zone. He passed the puck to Raffi Torres
on the left wing, and Torres quickly dished it to Boyd Gordon
in the high slot. Gordon somehow put a back-handed shot on goal just before tumbling over Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray and the puck got through Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss with 32 seconds left before intermission.
Gordon's goal was his third of the season in his 15th game with Phoenix. Last season, he scored three goals in 60 games for Washington.
► Click here
to watch the KEY MOMENT
• Before Saturday, the Coyotes hadn’t won at HP Pavilion since Oct. 12, 2009 - a 1-0 shootout victory.
• Nine players notched a point for the Coyotes in the victory.
• Phoenix was 4 for 4 on penalty kills and has killed 47 of their opponents' past 50 power plays dating to the middle of the season opener on Oct. 8. The last time the Coyotes surrendered a power-play goal was vs. Dallas on Oct. 25.
• The Coyotes won 57 percent of the faceoffs. Center Boyd Gordon
led the way by winning 12 of 20.
• The Coyotes played minus center Daymond Langkow
for a second straight game. Langkow has been granted a leave of absence from the team because of a death in his family.
• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette
and Daymond Langkow
• The Coyotes' next game is Tuesday vs. Toronto at Air Canada Center. The puck drops at 5 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
||"Our (defense) was fantastic tonight. They did a good job clearing and letting me see the pucks. You know, we deserved to win that game. When we play like that, we are going to win lots of games."
||"We remembered the first game of the season. We definitely talked about it. We wanted to make a better effort and hopefully get a better result... This is my fourth year with Phoenix and there are not too many times that we have won, so it is nice to get a win here."
||"We didn’t capitalize. Obviously we didn’t score a goal. The power play got some pretty good looks but we just couldn’t get the puck through. They blocked a lot of shots and we just couldn’t get the goal."
|Three star selections