The Coyotes began a new era in style on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena by beating the high-powered San Jose Sharks, 2-0, in the preseason finale for both teams. New Head Coach Dave Tippett made his debut behind the Phoenix bench after being hired Thursday.
Tippett is known for coaching defensive-minded teams, and the Coyotes clearly showed him right away that they can hold opposing offenses in check. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made 27 saves.
Peter Mueller (right) fights for the puck. (Photo by Getty Images).
Phoenix played a very disciplined game, taking only three penalties and allowing only three shots on goal during those power plays. The Coyotes also protected the puck and committed zero giveaways.
Martin Hanzal and Matthew Lombardi eached scored their first goal of the preseason to provide the offense in front of 6,483 fans.
Lombardi’s goal was an acrobatic one, set up nicely by a backhanded pass from Scottie Upshall inside the slot on a power play at 7:27 of the third period.
Scoreless after two periods, Hanzal needed just 15 seconds of the third period to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead. Hanzal skated into the San Jose zone down the left side and wristed a shot from the circle at Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss, who skated out of the crease as Hanzal approached. The puck hit Greiss on the short side, bounced off him and down to the ice, then inched its way into the goal.
"Our attention to detail I thought was pretty good. There’s still lots of work to be done, but I thought we did some good things in defending."
"We played very hard everywhere - neutral zone, offensive zone, defensive zone…I think we outplayed them and I think we deserve this win because I think that we played great."
“We didn’t execute the game that we wanted to play or needed to play and you saw the result.”
At San Jose
• Oct. 12, 2009
• Dec. 28, 2009
• April 10, 2010