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The Wrap: Coyotes Fall Short to Sharks

Arizona one point outside West Division playoff cut-off

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes
Final Score: Sharks 6, Coyotes 4
Record: 21-23-5
Standings: 5th-place, West Division

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Though the Coyotes showed resiliency in their 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks Monday night at SAP Center, head coach Rick Tocchet did not want to address moral victories.

The Sharks opened the scoring 17 seconds into the game and built a 4-0 lead on the Coyotes early in the second period.

"You just can't give (San Jose) two or three goals early," Tocchet said. "Especially our team. You just can't. Then you're trying to scratch and claw, and you come up short." 

Michael Bunting gave the Coyotes life five minutes into the second period with a redirect goal to cut the Sharks' lead to 4-1. Bunting has eight goals and 10 points in 14 games.

"Obviously, good things happen when you go to the net," Bunting said. "And I was lucky enough to get a tip on that goal. That's my home. It has been since I was in junior, and I like going there. Good things happen when you get to the front." 

Clayton Keller scored midway through the second to get the Coyotes within two, 4-2. 

Jakob Chychrun, who left the ice late in the second period after blocking an Erik Karlsson shot, returned for the third period, and had a momentous impact.

Chychrun cut the deficit to one, 4-3 with a wrist shot goal to the top corner two minutes into the third. 

The Sharks responded to take a 5-3 lead, but Chychrun struck again, 5-4, when he shoveled home his own rebound with 4:44 remaining.

San Jose scored into an empty net in the final seconds, 6-4.

"I think for the most part, we gave ourselves a chance tonight," Chychrun said. "It was tough to do. It seemed like everything was going in against us, but we were able to just fight through it. That what you have to do. It shows character to still be able to have a chance there at the end to tie it up."

Darcy Kuemper was pulled following the Sharks' fourth goal. Kuemper made seven saves in 22:26. Adin Hill came in for relief with 17:34 remaining in the second period. Hill made 21 saves on 22 shots.

"It was kind of a track meet out there," Bunting said. "Back-and-forth. We got within one goal two times, but unfortunately we weren't able to capitalize and get that tying goal. Tomorrow's another day. We've got to practice hard and then come in (on Wednesday) against them. We need these wins right now." 

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The Game:

First Period: The Sharks took a 2-0 lead with goals from Noah Gregor (0:17) and Brent Burns (3:07)

Second Period: San Jose increased its lead to 4-0 with goals from Logan Couture (1:54) and Erik Karlsson (3:19). The Coyotes got to within two, 4-2, with goals from Michael Bunting (4:43) and Clayton Keller (10:05).

Third Period: Jakob Chychrun cut the Coyotes deficit to one, 4-3, at 2:02. Alexander Barabanov countered for the Sharks, 5-3, at 11:17. Jakob Chychrun again got the Coyotes within one, 5-4, at 15:16. Evander Kane scored into an empty net for the Sharks, 6-4, at 19:51. 

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Statistics: 

SOG: ARI - 25, SJS - 34

PP: ARI - 0/3, SJS - 0/4

Hits: ARI - 35, SJS - 19

Blocks: ARI - 11, SJS - 11

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Tocchet's Take: "We gave them two, three goals (at the start). You give them a gift, and it's hard to come back. We just gave it to them. And then you make a late rally. But we shouldn't have given them those two, three goals to start the game. We weren't desperate enough at the start." 

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Jakob Chychrun said: "It seems like every time we don't make the right play it's in the back of our net. So, it's a little frustrating and it's something that we've got to figure out as a group. It's easy to look at the negatives, but I think we need to try our best to focus on how we stuck with it and got ourselves back. We gave ourselves a chance to tie it up at the end. We need to take that as momentum because it's not a time to be negative and down on ourselves. We're in crunch time, so we really just need to stick with it as a group. We're going to need to keep our mood and energy level high. We've got another opportunity here in a couple days, so we've got to get ready for it." 

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Notable:

  • Michael Bunting scored his eighth goal of the season and registered his third multi-point game (1G, 1A) since making his season debut on March 31.
  • Jakob Chychrun recorded his fifth multi-goal game of the season and reclaimed the NHL goal-scoring lead among defensemen with 16.
  • Clayton Keller scored his 14th goal of the year and has tallied a point in all five games against the Sharks this season, totaling eight (4G, 4A). 

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A Closer Look: The Coyotes trail the St. Louis Blues by one point for the fourth and final West Division playoff position. St. Louis beat the Colorado Avalanche, 4-1, Saturday evening. The Blues have three games in hand on the Coyotes. Arizona has seven games remaining.

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Coyotes Lineup:

Forwards

Bunting - Schmaltz - Keller

Crouse - Dvorak - Kessel

Hunt - Larsson - Fischer

Brassard - Pederson - Hayden

Defensemen

Ekman-Larsson - Lyubushkin

Chychrun - Goligoski

Hjalmarsson - Demers 

Scratches

Pitlick

Oesterle

Garland

Raanta 

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Roster Notes: Antti Raanta is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and did not dress. Adin Hill served as back up to Darcy Kuemper for the second straight game. Tyler Pitlick (day-to-day, lower-body), Conor Garland (week-to-week, lower-body) and Jordan Gross (IR, lower-body) remain out of the lineup.

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What's Next: The Coyotes have a practice scheduled Tuesday in San Jose. They play the Sharks Wednesday night, 7:30 p.m., at SAP Center.

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Photo of the Game: Good times. Michael Bunting hugs Clayton Keller and cracks a smile as he looks up to the jumbotron moments after Keller's second period goal cut the Sharks' lead in half, 4-2, in the second period.

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Highlights:

Video: Condensed Game: Coyotes @ Sharks

Lead Photo Credit: Brandon Magnus - NHLI via Getty Images // Photo of the Game: Brandon Magnus - NHLI via Getty Images

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