SAN JOSE – Defenseman Kurt Sauer scored his first goal of the season, but the San Jose Sharks netted three of the next four goals and beat the Coyotes, 3-2, on Saturday night at HP Pavilion.
Tied at 2, Sharks center Joe Pavelski scored a power-play goal at 1:34 of the third period to lead the Sharks to their NHL-leading 109th point and 31st home victory in 38 tries.
Coyotes forward Nigel Dawes nearly tied the score with a shot on goal with 5:23 left in the game, but Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov pounced on the puck, which got behind him, before it trickled across the goal line. Later, the Coyotes went on a power play but they could not put a shot on goal.
After a vanilla first period, the teams combined to score four goals within a span of 6:36 of the second period.
Sauer gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead at 2:18 after driving to the net from the left corner ala a seasoned power forward. It was Sauer’s first goal since October of 2007.
“It’s fun to get one,” Sauer said. “…I guess lightning strikes. It was fun that way, but it’s always bittersweet when you (the team) don’t get two points.”
San Jose answered Sauer’s goal 58 seconds later when tough guy Jody Shelley parlayed a giveaway deep in the Phoenix zone into his second goal. Trying to move the puck into the neutral zone, Coyotes defenseman Dmitri Kalinin inadvertently bounced it off teammate Matthew Lombardi’s skate and directly to Shelley, who beat Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
It’s fun to get one…I guess lightning strikes."- Kurt Sauer
Sharks forward Tom Cavanagh made the score 2-1 by tipping in a centering pass from Devin Setoguchi at 5:20 for his first NHL goal.
The Coyotes knotted the score at 2 just 70 seconds later. Lombardi was given credit for the goal after his passing attempt to Doan on a two-on-one rush ricocheted off Sharks defenseman Brad Lukowich and into San Jose's net. The goal was Lombardi’s fifth with Phoenix and his fourth in the past five games.
Other highlights in the playoff-like second period included a fight between Phoenix’s Daniel Winnik and San Jose’s Travis Moen, a thrilling yet unsuccessful breakaway by Coyotes forward Scottie Upshall, and a shot off the left post by Pavelski.
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
"We kept the pressure on and wore them down a little bit," Pavelski told reporters. "We just kept applying more and more pressure in the their zone."
The defeat dropped the Coyotes to 2-3-0 vs. San Jose this season. But Phoenix again played well against one of the league's elite teams.
“It’s a great testament to the team in the fact that we’re capable of it,” Doan said. "I'm sure they, obviously, don’t get as up for us as we get up for them. There's an element to that, too, we’re not naïve. At the same time, we think that if we can play as well as we do against these guys, we've got to mentally be tougher to play against everybody (else).”
• Linesman Darren Gibbs was injured nine seconds into the game when he was struck in the head by the puck after Doan tried to dump it into San Jose’s zone. Gibbs was helped off the ice, but he returned to action before the first period ended.
• Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek blocked four shots to up his NHL-leading total to 247.
• Coyotes forward Peter Mueller suffered a lower-body injury from blocking a shot midway through the second period. He returned in the third period.
• Sharks captain Patrick Marleau suffered an undisclosed injury in the first period and played only nine shifts.
• Coyotes center Steven Reinprecht won eight of 12 face-offs.
• Phoenix scratched forwards Enver Lisin, Brian McGrattan (injured), Brandon Prust, Mikkel Boedker, Joakim Lindstrom and defenseman David Hale. San Jose scratched forwards Marcel Goc, Jonathan Cheechoo, Ryan Clowe, Claude Lemieux, Thomas Plihal and defenseman Rob Blake.
• HP Pavilion staged an indoor lacrosse match on Saturday afternoon. Crews quickly converted it back to an NHL rink within a few hours.
1 - 0 PHX
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 SJS
2 - 2 Tie