By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – The Coyotes went 0 for 6 on power plays and 0 for 6 in the shootout Thursday night en route to a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Jobing.com Arena.
The defeat was Phoenix’s first on home ice since Nov. 16, and it ended a franchise-record 10-game home winning streak.
Sharks forward Ryane Clowe beat Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov with a backhanded shot in the sixth round of the shootout to end the game. The 11 shooters before Clowe, including six Coyotes, failed to score in the second shootout between the teams in the past four days. San Jose also beat Phoenix 3-2 in a shootout on Monday at the HP Pavilion.
Phoenix (25-13-4) outshot the Sharks 18-5 in the first period but couldn’t get the puck past backup goalie Thomas Greiss, who was starting for the first time since the last time the Sharks played in Glendale on Dec. 12.
"I think we were fortunate to get out of the game with a point tonight," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "... There's certain games you see the energy on the bench, the emotion. There were lot of lulls in the game. It wasn't there. I think they sensed that we weren't at the top of our game, and they continued to push back.”
After falling behind 1-0 early in the second period, the Coyotes scored twice within a span of 4:10 to take the lead. Scottie Upshall netted his team-leading 14th goal at 3:32 after a nice behind-the-net pass from Matthew Lombardi. Taylor Pyatt beat Greiss with a shot over his glove to cap a two-on-one rush with Peter Mueller at 7:42.
The Sharks, who have won seven games in a row, parlayed an interference penalty called on Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski into the tying goal at 5:09 of the third period. A seemingly harmless shot from the right by Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle eluded Bryzgalov and landed in the Phoenix net.
The teams each had three shots on goal in overtime. None got past the goalies.
Tippett then sent Korpikoski, Radim Vrbata, Mueller, Keith Yandle, Robert Lang and Shane Doan to the ice to take shots in the shootout, but none could get the puck by Greiss in his first NHL shootout.
The victory was extra sweet for San Jose (26-8-7), which beat Washington on Wednesday night and then immediately flew to Phoenix for an early game.
"This was a prime example of gutting out a victory," Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. "We challenged our team today. We wanted to find out how tough we were mentally, how tough we were when things are not going our way with travel and we're not feeling well."
Coyotes forward Robert Lang nearly ended the game at 2:46 of overtime with a 25-foot wrister that got by Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss. The puck hit the left post and bounced away.
• Forward Scottie Upshall scored his 14th goal of the season in the second period. That total is one goal shy of matching a career-high for goals in a season by Upshall, who netted 15 in 55 games for the Philadelphia Flyers and 19 games with the Coyotes in 2008-09.
• With San Jose's Scott Nichol in the penalty box for hooking in the middle of the second period, the Coyotes controlled the puck in the San Jose zone while trying to build on a 2-1 lead. At one point, defenseman Ed Jovanovski tried to make a cross-ice pass to Radim Vrbata, but San Jose's Patrick Marleau picked it off at the blue line and raced up the ice at Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on a short-handed breakaway. Marleau wristed a clear shot at Bryzgalov, but Bryzgalov, who stopped 31 of 33 shots, knocked it aside with his left arm.
• Happy Holidays: In the 17 games they played between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the Coyotes posted a record of 12-2-3.
• Forward Peter Mueller assisted on Taylor Pyatt's goal in the second period. It was Mueller's 100th point in the NHL and his sixth assist in the past 10 games.
• Forward Jeff Hoggan made his season debut with the Coyotes after being recalled from the American Hockey League on Dec. 27. Hoggan played 4:41 and took two shots on goal. Hoggan, who appeared in four games for the Coyotes last season, was serving as the captain of the team's AHL affiliate in San Antonio when he was recalled.
• Phoenix scratched Vernon Fiddler (lower-body injury), Kevin Porter and Jim Vandermeer (upper-body injury). San Jose scratched Jay Leach and Brad Staubitz.
"We didn’t play well enough by any means. In the first period we had a jump, but after that they kind of got their legs and got going. We had some chances but we didn’t play well."
"We had two or three power plays in the second period to go up on them by two goals, but give credit to their goalie. He played well and their penalty kill was strong."
"We didn’t have the start we wanted, but Thomas (Greiss) was great in the first period. He had a lot of great saves. I thought in the second and third we really tried to skate hard and made some chances."