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Sharks Point Streak Ends In 5-3 Loss To Coyotes

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

Glendale, AZ - After earning points in the past 14 consecutive road games, the San Jose Sharks were dealt their first regulation loss by the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-3, at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale on Tuesday.


Following his first night off in 43 games, Evgeni Nabokov returned to the net and faced off against Ilya Bryzgalov. Nabokov made 23 saves in the loss, while Bryzgalov made 19.

San Jose Sharks' Jonathan Cheechoo, left, celebrates his first period goal against the Phoenix Coyotes with teammates Patrick Marleau, center, and Joe Pavelski during an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

San Jose wasted little time getting on the board first when Jonathan Cheechoo scored his sixth goal of the season at 4:42. Christian Ehrhoff began the offensive drive, bringing the puck over the blue line and dishing it off to Joe Pavelski who was streaking towards the net. After Bryzgalov stopped Pavelski’s shot, Cheechoo crashed the crease and fired the rebound into the open net to give San Jose the early 1-0 lead.

A defensive breakdown by the Sharks led to a game-tying goal by Phoenix just three minutes later. After a bad line change by San Jose, Ed Jovanowski made a cross-ice pass to Peter Meuller who was streaking along the right side. Nabokov was able to stop Mueller’s breakaway shot, however his rebound was followed up by Shane Doan who slapped the puck past Nabokov and tied the game at one.

The Sharks and Coyotes exchanged power plays, however neither team could convert with the man advantage.

It wasn’t until the Sharks second power play of the night, a hooking penalty to Joel Perrault, that San Jose was able to regain the lead. Matt Carle began the drive with an aggressive defensive play to feed Joe Thornton the puck between the circles. From there, the Sharks leading scorer used a Coyote defender to screen Bryzgalov and fired the puck past the Phoenix netminder. 

Although they were outshot 10-5 in the first period, the Sharks entered the locker room with a 2-1 lead.

A late high sticking penalty to Cheechoo at 20:00 of the first period put Phoenix on the power play at the start of the second. As they had done in the previous period, the Coyotes stormed back and tied the game, 2-2, when Ed Jovanowski scored a power play goal 39 seconds into the power play.

Twelve minutes later, the Coyotes struck again. After the Sharks gambled offensively and turned the puck over in their zone, Mathias Tjarnqvist led a two-on-one with Fredrik Sjostrom against Carle. While Carle cut off the pass, Tjarnqvist took a shot from the faceoff circle that was initially stopped by Nabokov. However, Nabby’s kick save went straight towards Carle's skate and deflected back into the net. The goal was awarded to Tjarnqvist and Phoenix had their first lead of the game.

San Jose Sharks' Curtis Brown, center, watches his shot get past Phoenix Coyotes' Ilya Bryzgalov, right, of Russia, for a goal in the second period in an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. Coyotes' Ed Jovanovski (55), left, looks on. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

After serving a two minute hooking penalty late in the second period, Curtis Brown came back onto the ice and scored his first goal of the season at 19:24.

The play started when Thornton led a three-on-two rush as the Sharks returned to even strength. The puck was circled around the back of the net to Pavelski who was able to send a pass to Brown on the edge of the crease. The Sharks center initially hit the puck with his skate on the edge of the crease, but then batted it into the net over the shoulder of Bryzgalov.

Brown’s game-tying goal was the Sharks second tally of the game to come within the final sixty seconds of the period.

Just as San Jose had scored in the last minute of the period, the Coyotes responded with a goal in the first minute of the third. Phoenix notched their fourth goal of the game by finishing off a rebound that Nabokov thought was recoved by his own team. The Sharks netminder made the initial save on Mueller’s shot, but was slow to get back in position and Perrault capitalized on the big rebound.

Six minutes later, Doan scored his second goal of the game and 14th of the season. After the Sharks failed to clear the puck, Jovanowski stepped into the zone and teed up for a shot from the blue line. Nabokov was able to stop Jovanowski’s shot, but the rebound was just out of his reach. As the netminder stretched out for the puck and the Sharks defense crashed in to clear it, Doan was able to sweep the puck around the outstretched glove of Nabokov and into the net.

With 1:04 remaining, Ron Wilson pulled Nabokov for an extra attacker. Cheechoo had back-to-back chances on Bryzgalov, but neither shot was successful and the Coyotes held on to win 5-3 over the Sharks. 

LINES
Michalek – Thornton – Roenick
Marleau – Pavelski – Cheechoo
Rissmiller – Mitchell – Grier
Davison – Brown – Bernier

Carle – Rivet
Ehrhoff – Murray
Ozolinsh – Vlasic

Nabokov – Greiss

NEXT GAME
The Sharks will return to action on Thursday, January 17 when they play hosts to the Dallas Stars at 7:30 PM (Pacific). The game will be broadcast on FSN in High Definition, KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Affiliates and SJSAHRKS.com



FROM THE AP WIRE

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -Shane Doan had two goals and an assist, and Peter Mueller had four assists to lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a 5-3 victory over San Jose on Tuesday night.

Ed Jovanovski added a goal and two assists for Phoenix, which has won seven of nine to climb into playoff contention in 11th place in the Western Conference. Phoenix has won four straight at home, where it has a losing record.

With the game tied at 3 early in the third period, Joel Perrault scooped up a rebound of Jovanovski's shot at the right circle and fired it through a swarm of Sharks and past goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

Doan made it 5-3 when he scored in a scramble in front of the net at 6:48 of the third period.

San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov, right, of Kazakhstan, blocks the shot of Phoenix Coyotes' Peter Mueller (88), as Sharks' Torrey Mitchell (17) looks on in the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Pacific Division-leading Sharks, who are second in the Western Conference, have dropped back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game skid from Dec. 18-22.

Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist for the Sharks.

The Coyotes came out fired up against a team that has owned them for much of the season. The Sharks won the first four games between the clubs by a combined score of 16-1 before Phoenix won a 3-2 shootout victory Dec. 20 in San Jose.

Phoenix took a 3-2 lead midway through the second period when Sharks defenseman Matt Carle knocked the puck in with his skate. The goal was credited to Mathias Tjarnqvist, his second of the season.

The Sharks tied it up at 19:24 of the second period on Curtis Brown's first goal. Brown redirected the puck with his right skate and then chipped it into the net with his stick.

Notes: Phoenix right wing Radim Vrbata didn't return after sustaining what the club described as a "lower body injury" in the first period. ... The Coyotes' Steven Reinprecht left with neck spasms in the second period. ... Sharks coach Ron Wilson will serve as a Western Conference assistant coach at the All-Star game Jan. 27.

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