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'Yotes Notes: Smith Shines Again vs. Sharks

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith keys SO win at San Jose

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith thrives when facing lots and lots of shots this season.

Smith, who played in the NHL All-Star Game last weekend, stopped 38 of 40 shots on Saturday night to lead Arizona to a 3-2 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center. The win bumped Smith's record to an eye-popping 6-0-2 in games in which he faced 40 or more shots this season.

Smith also kept two of San Jose's three shootout shooters from scoring and upped his career record vs. the Sharks to 12-7-3.

"San Jose's one of those teams that can make you look pretty silly if you don't come out ready to play so I think it's a team that you've got to be prepared to play right from the start, especially in this building," Smith told reporters before the game.

• With 18 of their dads watching as a group from a suite inside the SAP Center, the Coyotes snapped a seven-game road losing streak. Before Saturday, Arizona last won on the road on Dec. 15 at Toronto.

"I think there was definitely a couple young kids in here with some chips on their shoulder wanting to play in front of their old man," forward Ryan White said. "I think the rest of us tried to use the energy and follow it up. It was a lot of fun out there tonight."

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: A #DadsWeekend #VictoryGIF. pic.twitter.com/Sm48QUq6mP

• Arizona has posted three of its 17 wins this season vs. the Sharks and has defeated San Jose by a 3-2 score all three times. The Coyotes are the only NHL team to defeat the defending Western Conference champs three times this season.

"If you don't play hard against these guys it's going to be an ugly night," White said. "If you don't take their time and space away they're going to embarrass us."

Captain Shane Doan agreed.

"We're a younger team and we have to try to prove ourselves against the best," Doan said. "...They've got a big team and they're going to be physical. They come hard on the forecheck and they create opportunities off their physicality and as a team you've got to be willing to be able to do a little bit of it back."

• Doan scored Arizona's first goal at 12:23 of the second period. The goal was the 401st of Doan's career and his first since Dec. 23.

Video: Shane Doan discusses Coyotes' SO win at Sharks

• White scored a goal to pull the Coyotes into a 2-2 tie at 2:44 of the third period. It was his third goal in the past five games.

Video: Ryan White discusses Coyotes' SO win at Sharks

• NHL shootout king Radim Vrbata and rookie Brendan Perlini both scored shootout goals on All-Star goalie Martin Jones to secure the win. Vrbata's goal was his League-best 45th shootout goal. Perlini's was his first on his first attempt in the NHL.

"We did (a shootout) the other day in practice and he was pretty good," Head Coach Dave Tippett said of Perlini. "So we sent the young guy out there No. 1 (in the shootout), so he doesn't have to think, just get out there and go."

The strategy worked, and it pushed Arizona's shootout record to 5-1 this season. The Coyotes lead the NHL with a 64.3 shooting percentage in shootouts (9 goals on 14 attempts).

Video: Dave Tippett discusses Coyotes' SO win at Sharks

• Playing in his 600th NHL game, center Martin Hanzal took eight shots on goal, delivered four hits and won 14 of 22 face-offs.

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