For the third straight game the San Jose Sharks (24-8-6, 54 points) win in the shootout, this time by the final score of 4-3 in Phoenix against the Coyotes (19-10-8, 46 points).
This evening it was the Coyotes who came out to the faster start and ended up scoring first on a mistake by the third line. San Jose forward Matt Nieto made a bad pass on a breakout from behind his net and the puck was picked right away by David Moss. Moss did a 180 degree spin and immediately fired the puck on net and was able to put the puck past Antti Niemi after it deflected off of Brad Stuart to give his Coyotes a 1-0 lead.
Immediately following that goal Andrew Desjardins decided to try and provide a spark for his team who had been flat up until that point and was the decisive winner in a fight. He landed quite a few left hands to his opponent with one of them eventually knocking him over.
In the second period the Sharks would eventually tie the game after a great start and a couple of early shots off the post. Joe Pavelski, who continued to roll on the top line, received a pass from Joe Thornton that was partially deflected. However, Pavelski recovered, took possession of the puck, and quickly rifled one by Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith and would tie the game at one.
Unfortunately, about a minute later, Moss would score his second goal of the game. This time Moss would deflect the puck himself while standing in front of the net on a shot from the point.
But, before the period would end the second line would get in on the scoring as well on the power play. Tommy Wingels, who entered the zone on the right boards, fired a pass between two defensemen to a streaking Patrick Marleau who wasted no time and snaps it home to tie the game once again for San Jose with just under seven minutes left in the period. The goal was a great answer just two minutes after the Coyotes answered San Jose’s first goal and definitely gave the team an extra jump in their step for the rest of the period.
In the third stanza the Sharks were finally able to jump out to a lead when Brent Burns scored halfway through it on a one-timer right in front of the net. Burns, who was originally covering for his defenseman who jumped up on the play, drove the net from the blue-line and was spotted by Pavelski who was behind the net.
A little over three minutes later though the Coyotes would tie the game at three apiece on their lone power play goal of the game. Radim Vrbata was the recipient of a great pass through San Jose’s penalty kill box and was able to settle the puck and pick the glove side on Niemi who had to go from one side of his crease to the other. That goal would eventually push the game into overtime, and finally a shootout.
In the shootout Niemi would stop two of the three shots he faced which would be good enough as the San Jose Sharks scored on both opportunities by Logan Couture and Marleau to lead San Jose to the victory.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Joe Pavelski (1 goal, 1 assist)
2. David Moss (2 goals)
3. Patrick Marleau (1 goal, 1 shootout goal)