San Jose took to the ice against Phoenix trying to snap a four-game losing streak, but tonight was not the night they would do so, as the Coyotoes defeated them by the score of 4-3 in a shootout. The visitors jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on the strength of two rebound goals.
The first came when a Derek Morris point shot rang off the post and bounced back through Evgeni Nabokov’s legs. Mike Comrie was there to collect the rebound and provide Phoenix the early 1-0 lead.
That lead would quickly become 2-0 on another quirky rebound. A Denis Gauthier shot was turned away, but as it popped out, it struck Brad Stuart. Ladislav Nagy was the first to find it and he punched it in the back of the net.
San Jose would receive the first two power plays and despite working the puck and firing several shots on net with traffic, Curtis Joseph held the Sharks at bay.
Scott Thornton provided the crowd some excitement when he fought for the second consecutive game. His bout with Dave Scatchard was one-sided in favor of the big Sharks forward.
The play was somewhat even after 20 minutes, with Phoenix outshooting San Jose 11-10, but the two favorable bounces provide the two-goal lead.
Early in the second, a hooking penalty to Comrie allowed San Jose to crack the scoreboard. Patrick Marleau
and Milan Michalek were out front looking for a rebound, and with Joseph down, Marleau pushed the puck in to pull San Jose within one.
Back-to-back penalties to Scott Hannan and Tom Preissing provided Phoenix nearly a full minute of five-on-three time just after the Sharks goal. Team Teal killed off the first penalty when Hannan returned to the ice, but Phoenix would make them pay before things returned to even strength. Shane Doan drew two defenders behind the net and then found a wide-open Scatchard in the slot. Scatchard, who was acquired earlier in the day from Boston, took advantage of the opportunity and once again provided Phoenix the two-goal lead.
A strong move by Scott Thornton came close to providing goal number two. He eluded Oleg Saprykin (who was called for hooking) and ripped a shot on net. A scrum ensued in front with Joseph never gaining control, but when the Coyotes touched the puck, the play was whistled dead due to a Nagy penalty. San Jose had 57 seconds of power play time. They used their timeout to draw up a goal.
An Alyn McCauley pass through the crease appeared heading for Jonathan Cheechoo’s stick on the other side, but a defender picked it up just in time and Phoenix killed the penalties.
San Jose would head to the second intermission down 3-1.
Team Teal came out firing hard in the third, taking the first two scoring opportunities. First it was Cheechoo and then Michalek, but Joseph turned them away. Thornton drew a power play penalty when he was slashed and they would convert.
After taking a puck to the face near the point, Wayne Primeau kept his cool and fired a shot toward the net. Standing in front was Thornton. He did not touch the puck, but he created the traffic that allowed the goal to go in and pulled the Sharks within one. San Jose was outshooting Phoenix 6-2 in the period and a Nagy penalty provided another man-advantage. This time San Jose would not convert and they would have to find another way to close that gap.
And they would not wait long. Playing at even strength, Niko Dimitrakos’ shot was left out front with nobody near it. Preissing beat everybody to the puck and lifted it into the net before Joseph could recover. San Jose had trailed from the game’s early moments, but now things were tied at three with 11 minutes remaining.
The ice would open up with Jamie Lundmark and Mark Smith received matching minors just past the halfway point of the third.
San Jose kept piling up the shots in the third. With six minutes remaining in regulation, San Jose was outshooting Phoenix 16-2 in the third. Then McLaren was sent to the box and San Jose would have to kill their first penalty of the period. San Jose not only killed the penalty, but they did not allow one shot. However, just as the two minutes expired Rob Davison was sent to the box for boarding with 3:37 left and the PK units would have to come up big again.
Nabokov was forced to come up large on a shot on the edge of the crease by Mike Leclerc and that is exactly what he did as time expired in the penalty. As the one minute mark approached, Michalek lead a three on two rush, but his shot went just wide. The game would go to overtime.
After trailing by two goals entering the third, San Jose had fashioned yet another comeback and had guaranteed at least one point.
The Sharks put a ton of pressure on Joseph throughout the early stages of the overtime stanza. However shots from Michalek, Smith and Thornton were all turned away however. San Jose drew a four-on-three advantage with just over a minute left after Derek Morris was sent to the box. The Sharks could not take advantage and the teams were headed to a shootout.
Shooting first for Phoenix was Nagy who's shot was turned away by Nabokov. Dimitrakos lead it off for San Jose, putting one top shelf past Joseph. Comrie followed for Phoenix, tying it at one. Marleau shot next for the Sharks, but was stoned by Joseph. Doan tried to put Phoenix ahead, but Nabokov made a great save. Michalek could have won it with his shot, but his shot barely missed. Jeff Sanderson put Phoneix ahead 2-1 as he wrapped one around Nabokov. Now it was up to Ekman, but his shot came up short and the game went to Phoenix.
Josh Langfeld, Steve Bernier and Christian Ehrhoff were the scratches for the night.