SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks looked for their ninth consecutive victory against the Phoenix Coyotes when the two clubs hooked up Thursday night at HP Pavilion, but a late collapse resulted in a 3-2 shootout loss.
Evgeni Nabokov squared off against Ilya Bryzgalov as Jeremy Roenick and Matt Carle returned to the Sharks lineup.
The Sharks earned the first power play of the game on a hooking penalty at 4:44. Although they were unable to convert, San Jose had a great chance ona rush led by Joe Thornton
There was a four-on-four situation at 7:40 because of a scruff between Torrey Mitchell
and Phoenix’s Daniel Carcillo. During the open ice, Phoenix was called for too many men, which resulted in a Sharks four-on-three power play for 64 seconds. There was no score on the advantage in a preview of what quickly became a goaltending duel.
Late in the period Marc-Edouard Vlasic
received two minutes for tripping, providing a spark for Phoenix. However, Nabokov came up big with three huge saves against shots from inside the faceoff circle.
Despite no score at the end of the first, San Jose and Phoenix combined for 31 shots and 22 penalty minutes.
Three and half minutes into the second period, Kyle McLaren took two minutes for hooking, but 45 seconds later Phoenix took a hooking penalty to eliminate the disadvantage.
Then San Jose had a power play for 1:15 where they again came close, but could not convert. A shot from the left point by Ehrhoff led to a rebound recovered by Thornton, who passed to Setoguchi. The rookie winger’s shot was sent right into Bryzgalov’s chest. Then a go-ahead pass from Ehrhoff to Thornton gave the All-Star center a one-on-one chance that was kicked away by Bryzgalov.
Play was slowed until Phoenix received an interference call against Boynton at 13:12. Setoguchi had a great look with a slap shot from the top of the left circle, but the puck was blocked by a Phoenix defenseman.
San Jose’s McLaren took another hooking penalty at 16:42 that saw a penalty killing effort worthy of the crowd’s applause. During the kill, Torrey Mitchell
, playing without his stick, stepped up and blocked a shot with his foot and the crowd roared their approval.
With 57 seconds left,Phoenix’s Niko Kapanan jumped on a rebound opportunity. Marc-Edouard Vlasic
raced back to detour Kapanen, but the play resulted in a hooking penalty for the second year blueliner. The penalty would roll over for 64 seconds into the third period to give Phoenix the man advantage to start the final stanza.
It wasn’t long before Phoenix took advantage of the power play and scored 33 seconds into the final period.
The Sharks responded quickly as Mitchell scored for the Sharks. It was a tip through the five hole of Bryzgalov with Patrick Rissmiller and Mike Grier and assisting.
Emotions were on the rise after the two goals. Following a Phoenix rush, Rivet stepped in front of Steven Reinprecht who kept pushing toward Nabokov and the shoving quickly resulted in a group brawl. Bernier was first on the scene in Rivet’s defense and took on Keith Yandle. David Carcillo jumped in as the third man with Bernier and Yandle and Roenick jumped to his aid. As the linesman attempted to separate most intense grapplers, Carcillo fell back over Roenick and had to be helped from the ice.
The sequence brought more than 35 minutes in penalties with Carcillo providing Team Teal a five-minute power play for being an extra man in a fight.
The extended power play produced some up-beat play with rebound opportunities for Bernier and Grier.
Then David Ballard took a two minute penalty for roughing creating a five-on-three opportunity for San Jose. A play as easy as one, two, three from Thornton and Sandis Ozolinsh resulted in Roenick’s 502 goal of his career and seventh of the season. Thornton also reached a milestone as his assist on the goal was in 700th career point.
The puck kept flying halfway through the third. Directly after a penalty on McLaren for tripping, Mitchell made a pass to Phoenix’s blue line to give Grier a breakaway chancem but he shot just wide on the glove side of Bryzgalov. Then Phoenix took a shot off the faceoff forcing Nabokov to make a glove save.
With fifty seconds left in the period, Ballard took a cross checking penalty to give San Jose a late man advantage. However, it would be Phoenix who would score with a back-breaking shorthanded goal with 41.5 seconds left. When San Jose couldn’t clear the zone, the puck came back to Shane Doan and his wrister would force the game into overtime.
Overtime brought on a test for the goaltenders as each team had multiple opportunities to score. A three-on-one for Phoenix forced Nabokov to pull out all the stops, but he managed to turn the puck away. Then San Jose had a power play when Mitchell stripped Ballard and the Phoenix blueliner tripped him up to prevent the breakaway. Neither team could convert on their opportunities, so the game would go into a shootout.
The combination of a perfect goaltending performance by Bryzgalov and Peter Mueller ‘s winning shot through the five hole of Nabokov gave Phoenix the shootout win by a 3-2 count.
Sharks will play against the Anaheim Ducks for the third time in four games on Saturday December 22 at 7:30pm. The game will be broadcasted on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX FM, Sharks Radio Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com. Tickets are still available online at www.ticketmaster.com and at the box office.