By: Jeff Dahlia
Photo credit: Getty Images
The Coyotes opened the 2006 Pacific Division Shootout with a 6-5 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks. Even though the Sharks would use multiple 5-on-3 power play goals to jump ahead of the Coyotes twice in regulation, it was the Coyotes who fought back to steal the win in overtime.
The Sharks wasted little time getting on the board, when Lukas Kaspar scored 40 seconds into the contest. Kaspar set up in front of the net, where he was able to pick up a rebound off an Erik Felde shot from the point. He beat Coyotes goalie Pier-Olivier Pelletier on his left side to give San Jose a 1-0 lead.
San Jose struck again on the power play at the 13:42 mark, when Brock Hooton converted a rebound for the Sharks second goal of the period, to put San Jose up 2-0.
"This was our first game together and everyone was a little nervous and had some jitters," team captain Matt Jones explained about the Coyotes slow start. "After everyone got a couple shifts in they calmed down and started making more plays."
Both teams went back and forth to open up the second period until Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle opened the scoring with 5-on-3 power play goal at 2:41.
The team controlled play in the Sharks zone for the majority of the two-man advantage until free agent invitee Nick Martens worked the puck up to Yandle in the high slot. Wasting no time, Yandle pulled the trigger and put the puck past San Jose's goalie Taylor Dakers, to cut the Sharks lead in half at 2-1.
The Coyotes would answer again at 16:55, when the team was cycling the puck down low. Martens put a shot on net from the left corner, when Bill Thomas redirected the puck past Dakers to pull them even at 2-2.
Moments before the second period was ready to close, the Coyotes took two back-to-back minor penalties. The Sharks immediately answered with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 17:58, when San Jose forward Marc-Edmund Vlasic put the puck past Pelletier to put the Sharks back up 3-2 heading into the second intermission.
"We made a good push and tied it up," Jones said. "Then we took many penalties, which took away our momentum. We were comfortable with our five-on-five play, so we knew we had to take less penalties heading into the third "
The Sharks opened the third period just like they ended the second, pouring the pressure on Phoenix and capitalizing on their penalties. Already a man down, Coyotes forward Olivier Latendresse was called for holding penalty 20 seconds into the third, which put the Coyotes down two men. The Sharks jumped out and used the two-man advantage to add another goal at 1:04 of the third when Vlasic struck for his second maker to make it 4-2.
Still on the power play, the Sharks came charging into the Coyotes zone after the ensuing face-off and dropped another goal at 1:26 of the third. Randy King took a shot from the point, which created a rebound down low. Mike Iggulden jumped on the rebound and swiftly put the puck past Pelletier's right leg pad for a commanding 5-2 lead.
"We were a little down at this point, " Latendresse said about falling behind three goals. "We have a lot of character and it was the force of our team tonight."
Down but not out, the Coyotes would go onto mount a late comeback when forward Enver Lisin knocked a Martin Hanzal pass out of the air as the two split a Sharks defender on a breakout and beat Dakers to cut the lead to 5-3.
The Coyotes would wait until late in third when they added a power play goal at 16:58 of the last frame. Controlling the puck with the man advantage, Latendresse brought the Coyotes within one goal when he knocked in a Daniel Winnik rebound to make it 5-4.
"It was a big goal," said Latendresse about his maker, which helped the team close in on the Sharks. "You can't give up because you never know what can happen."
Phoenix would go onto tie it up at 17:53 when Winnik jammed a loose puck to beat Dakers five-hole, knotting the game at 5-5.
"We came out a little stiff but we got better period after period, " assessed Coyotes netminder Pelletier. "It showed because we were able to explode for four goals."
In the extra frame, the Coyotes were able to keep the momentum after they saw a 4-on-3 power play expire. Invitee Kyle Wilson jumped on a Peter Mueller pass at the blueline on the far boards and skated down right wing. He would out maneuver a Sharks defender and put the puck past Dakers to put Phoenix up 6-5 and seal the win.
"I got the puck just outside the blueline and I thought about taking hard into the zone," Wilson recounted about his game-winning-goal. "I kept the puck on my stick and everything ended up working out for me."
Overall, it was a well-fought match filled with a lot of miscues on both ends of the ice. Thankfully, the Coyotes were able to pull out the win.
"I think the guys did terrific job coming in here tonight," Head Coach Pat Conacher said about the teams ability to come together after spending little time together as a unit leading up to the first game. "I was happy with the effort I saw out there."
The Phoenix Coyotes rookie squad will return to the ice on Saturday afternoon when they face the Anaheim Ducks at 4:00 p.m.. Check phoenixcoyotes.com for a complete recap after the game.
Scoring: 00:40 - SJ - Kasper, 1 (Felde), 13:42 - SJ - Hooton, 1, PP (Felde, Leisenring)
Penalties: 1:11 - PHX - Lisin (2min., interference), 4:49 - PHX - Sertich (2min., holding), 4:52 - SJ - Pavelski (2min., hooking), 8:19 - SJ - Pavelski (2min., holding), 10:48 - PHX - Stephenson (2min., interference), 13:30 - PHX - Jones (2min., tripping), 14:23 - SJ - King (2min., hooking), 19:53 - SJ - Tremblay (2min., slashing)
Scoring: 2:41 - PHX - Yandle, 1, PP (Mueller, Martens), 16:55 - PHX - Thomas, 1 (Martens, Mueller), 17:58 - SJ - Vlasic, 1, PP (Hooton, Macho)
Penalties: 1:59 - SJ - Macho (2min., holding), 2:30 - SJ - Kasper (2min., crosschecking), 5:23 - PHX - Lindstrom (2min., interference), 7:10 - PHX - Stephenson (2min., slashing), 12:13 - SJ - King (2min., elbowing), 14:26 - PHX - Hanzal (cross checking), 16:52 - PHX - Cormier (5min., fighting), 16:52 - SJ - Tremblay (5min., fighting), 17:11 - PHX - Garlock (2min., tripping), 17:51 - PHX - Winnik (2min., elbowing), 19:32 - PHX - Jones (2min., holding), 19:59 - PHX - Garlock (2min., crosschecking)
Scoring: 1:04 - SJ - Vlasic, 2, PP (Kaspar, Leisenring), 1:26 - SJ - Iggulden, 1, PP (King), 7:23 - PHX - Lisin, 1, SH (Hanzal), 15:58 - PHX - Latendresse, 1, PP (Winnik, Jones), 17:53 - PHX - Winnik, 1(Latal, Latendresse)
Penalties: 0:20 - PHX - Latendresse (2min., holding), 1:41 - SJ - Iggulden (2min., tripping), 5:52 - PHX - Garlock (2min., slashing), 8:04 - SJ - Syroczynski (2min., holding), 9:19 - SJ - Felde (2min., hooking), 12:04 - SJ - Spang (2min., slashing), 12:58 - PHX - Latal (2min., interference), 15:26 - SJ - Macho (2min., charging), 18:23 - SJ - Bernhardt (2min., interference)
Scoring: 1:59 - PHX - Wilson, 1 (Mueller, Jones)
PHX - Pelletier: 24 of 29; SJ - Dakers: 33 of 39