Event Name: San Jose Sharks vs Arizona Coyotes
Date: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Location: SAP Center: 525 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
Hosted by: San Jose Sharks Hockey
Saturday night, the San Jose Sharksfaced the Arizona Coyotes, a division rival that is currently the second worstteam in the NHL. Back in 2012, the Coyotes made it all the way to theconference finals before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion LosAngeles Kings. Since then, they have not made it to the playoffs and thisseason is not looking promising either. Arizona came in to the game tonight ona 2 game losing streak, while San Jose is heating up having won 8 of their last9 games with Patrick Marleau just scoring his 500th NHL Career Goal. This will be atough test for Arizona.
The Coyotes came into the game last in Pacific Division with 38points while the Sharks continue to sit in first with 68 points. San Jose comesinto the matchup heavily favored, as this season Arizona has only won 5 oftheir 24 road games. San Jose continues to impress at home having now won 18 oftheir 26 games.
In the opening minutes of theperiod, Arizona goalie Mike Smith (41) made an amazing stick save on MikkelBoedker (89) who took a shot on a wide open net from the bottom of the leftcircle just 6 feet away from the net. After that, the physicality of the gamepicked up. About fourteen minutes into the game, Lawson Crouse (67) laid a latehard hit on Tomas Hertl (48) which Brendon Dillon (4) didn’t take kindly to,stepping in to drop the gloves with Crouse and taking them both out of play with5 minute majors for fighting. A couple of minutes later, Timo Meier crashed thenet hard, colliding with Smith who had come out to his crease to challenge gettinghis helmet knocked off in the chaos. He immediately attacked Meier and LukeSchenn (2) followed suit. Since the Sharks didn’t challenge them, both Coyotesgot 2 minutes for roughing giving the Sharks a 2 minute 5 on 3 powerplay.However, the Sharks were unable to convert and began to lose momentum in thegame.
The shenanigans continued in the 2nd. Justover two minutes in the period, Kevin LeBanc (62) slashed Oliver Ekman-Larsson(23) after taking a hit into the boards. After the play had been whistled dead,Ekman-Larsson hit LeBanc in open ice prompting Micheal Haley (38) to grabEkman-Larson but the refs broke it up before a fight could break out. Ten minutesinto the period, the Sharks got a bench minor for too many men on the ice. Latein the penalty kill, Max Domi (16) and Logan Couture (39) exchanged blowsduring the play after Domi laid a late hit on Couture while he was down. Domiwould get the last laugh, as taking Couture out of the play while already down aman would lead to the Coyotes carrying the puck in to the zone and Jamie McGinn(88) dropping a pass to Shane Done (19) down the middle of the ice, who onetimed a shot beating Jones to his glove side and giving the Coyotes a 1-0 lead.Just 5 minutes later, Dillon carried the puck deep behind the net and took hardcheck from Alex Burmistrov (91) to keep possession of the puck. He skated tothe front of the net and batted down a puck that Marleau tossed towards the netbefore tapping home the rebound through Smith’s five-hole tying the score 1-1.
Just two minutes into the third,Burmistrov turned over the puck to Boedker who quickly passed it across toMarleau who made a one touch pass to Couture in the slot. Couture held the puckfor a second freezing Smith before snapping the puck into the top shelf, gloveside giving the Sharks their first lead of the game. It would be short lived,however, as on the very next shift, Ryan White (25) took a shot from the top ofthe right circle which got deflected by Brenden Dillon’s stick beating Jones tohis left tying the score 2-2.
There was no scoring in overtimebut right before the clock would expire sending the game into the shootout,Martin Jones robbed Tobias Reider (8) with an old school stack of the pads on aone time pass from Doan on a 2 on 1. During the shootout, Brendan Perlini(29)and Radim Verbata (17) scored while only Couture scored for the Sharks. Thiswas the first shoot out loss for the Sharks this season.
The Sharks led in shots (40-28) andtakeaways (14-6) while the Coyotes led in face-offs (57%-43%), hits (22-19), blockedshots (13-12) and giveaways (23-20). Both teams were tied at 15 penalty minuteseach.
Logan Couture had a goal, an assistand was tied with Joe Thornton with 3 takeaways. He now has 9 points in hislast 8 games. Brenden Dillon scored his first goal of the season.
Patrick Marleau had 2 assists andhas 10 points in his last 6 games. He also led the team with 6 shots on goal.Mikkel Boedkar had an assist and has 6 points in his last 5 games.
Jonas Donskoi was still out oflineup due to an upper body injury.
San Jose continues their regularseason Tuesday on the road against the Buffalo Sabres.