In their last game before the Olympic break, the Sharks traveled to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes Sunday night. Thanks to an overtime goal from Tom Preissing, the Sharks defeated the Coyotes by the final score of 5-4.
Looking to beat their Pacific Division rivals for the first time in their first five meetings this season, the Sharks sent Vesa Toskala to the net for the third consecutive contest. Opposing him on the opposite side of the ice was Curtis Joseph.
The Sharks were right on Joseph’s doorstep early in the game, as Ekman tried to lift one past him, but the netminder continued his stellar play against the Sharks and turned the attempt away.
Phoenix nearly lit the lamp first 11 minutes into the game when they had a three-on-one in tight on Toskala. But somehow Rob Davison and Patrick Marleau
were able to get in the mix and clear the puck out of the zone without any damage being done.
After an uneventful rest of the first, the teams headed to the locker room scoreless.
Action picked up early on in the second as Phoenix fired shot after shot on Toskala in the first two minutes of the frame. Toskala continued to shine, however, turning away every shot.
The first penalty of the game came four minutes into the second when Marcel Goc hooked former Shark Mike Ricci. San Jose was able to kill off the penalty without any harm.
Just seconds later, San Jose would go on their first power play of the game. 20 seconds into the advantage, Joe Thornton
ended the scoreless streak when he poked at a loose puck in front of the net that just barely slipped past Joseph. The Sharks took the 1-0 lead.
It was no more than two minutes later when Fredrik Sjostrom fired a shot from the point that sailed past Toskala. The Sharks lead was short lived and the game was now tied at one.
Steve Bernier set up a perfect play when he skated behind Phoenix’ net and fed Marleau in front. Marleau knew exactly what to do with it from there, and the Captain found the back of the net. San Jose now led 2-1.
Boyd Devereaux was whistled for hooking with eight minutes left in the second, but San Jose couldn’t capitalize.
The final seconds ticked off the game clock and the Sharks headed into the second intermission leading 2-1.
It took just 12 seconds into the third period for the Coyotes to tie the game at two. Dave Scatchard was left unattended off the faceoff and he skated in, flicking a backhander past Toskala.
San Jose headed back on the power play just under four minutes into the third when Geoff Sanderson was called for hooking Scott Hannan. Marleau nearly gave San Jose the lead again when Joe Thornton
fed him in front of the net, but Joseph made an unbelievable save on the attempt and the rest of the power play expired.
The Sharks did retake the lead when Ekman roofed a puck past Joseph after receiving an across ice pass from Joe Thornton
. The score was now 3-2 in favor of San Jose.
Midway through the third, Jamie Lundmark tied the game at three when Denis Gauthier put a puck on net that the center deflected past Toskala.
With 5:44 left in regulation, Oleg Saprykin was penalized for hooking. Marleau would give the Sharks their fourth lead of the night when he rifled a slapshot from the point five hole past Joseph.
On a delayed penalty, Phoenix controlled the puck with an extra attacker for nearly 45 seconds. Steven Reinprecht found the back of the net when he banked one off Toskala from behind the net. The score was now tied at four.
With 10 seconds left, Ricci was called for hooking Ekman who was driving the net trying to give the Sharks the win. The final seconds expired and the game was headed to overtime.
Right as Ricci’s penalty expired in the extra stanze, Joe Thornton
fed Tom Preissing at the point. The blueliner ripped a slapshot and Michalek screened Joseph, allowing the puck to sail past him and the Sharks skated off with the 5-4 victory.