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Lack of urgency bites Sharks
Bryzgalov shines in shootout shutout
10/12/09 - By Mike Lee -

The Phoenix Coyotes have every excuse to roll over, especially on the road, but somehow the vagabond team found away to take advantage of an uninspired Sharks roster on Monday night. Playing a grinding style and leaning on goaltender Ilya Brygalov, the Coyotes knocked off the Sharks 1-0 in the shootout at HP Pavilion.

San Jose 's unwillingness to put bodies in front of Bryzgalov prevented the Sharks from getting anything done, and Phoenix simply waited the Sharks out. The lackluster performance was a glaring contrast to the wide open games that preceded Monday night's stinker.

"Failure to dictate play, no crisp passes," lamented defenseman Dan Boyle. "We just weren't very good tonight. We have to give them credit, but you have to create your chances."

For the Coyotes, it was their second consecutive shutout.

"It was a well earned point," head coach Dave Tippett said. "You'd like to win in regulation, but we'll take the shootout point. Points are very valuable right now. I thought we played a hard gritty game."

Bryzgalov was tested late in the opening period after Scott Nichol intercepted a pass in the Coyotes zone then dished to Jed Ortmeyer for a big slapper from the left wing boards. Bryzgalov squeezed the puck between his pads before taking a peek behind to see if the shot found its way to the net.

San Jose dodged a bullet with 4:30 to play in the period when dan Boyle tripped behind his own net, coughing the puck up. Vern Fidler took a feed in the slot for a one time chance that defenseman Douglas Murray had to block with a sliding save through the slot.

Jody Shelley and Coyotes left wing Paul Bissonnette tried to incite some energy in an otherwise tepid opening 18 minutes by dropping the gloves early in the 2nd period. The exchange was over too quickly to generate much fire on either bench.

Shelley would take a tripping penalty just after his fighting major expired, getting his stick caught in Petr Prucha's skates. San Jose escaped the ensuing Coyotes power play, but not after Nabokov livened things up by falling over in the crease, leaving a wide open net for Prucha, who whiffed on a wide open net.

San Jose would put some sustained pressure on Bryzgalov late in the period, but a one-time chance by Devin Setoguchi missed the net. Dany Heatley would also get a chance in close, but the Coyote defense blocked his 12 foot shot.

Rob Blake missed breaking the scoreless deadlock with 11 minutes remaining in regulation by clanking a blast off the left post.

Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek gave the Sharks a gift with just over 8 minutes left to play by swatting the puck over the glass in his defensive zone. The Sharks would proceed to squander the opportunity by never establishing any presence deep in the Phoenix zone.

Daniel Winnik almost ended it in the final minute with a one-time chance after being left alone in the slot. Shane Doan almost redirected a follow up shot moments later, but the puck trickled just wide of the right post.

In the overtime period, Heatley failed to grab a long lead pass, which would have setup a breakaway. Robert Lang countered moments later with a chance from the left wing. Jason Demers laid out Scottie Upshall on another Phoenix chance, suppressing the Coyote forward with the big hit.

In the shootout, Heatley put a shot off Bryzgalov's pads. Vrbata missed with the backhand chance. Setoguchi shot the puck wide left. Peter Mueller snapped a shot inside the right post. Boyle kept the Sharks alive by lifting a backhand shot past Bryzgalov. Lauri Korpikoski ended it with a wrist shot that beat Nabokov to the stick side.

"I thought we competed very hard in the game," Tippett added. "And we were in the game. That game could have gone either way. One team gets a break and we found a way to get points out of it and that's all that counts right now for us."

Game Notes:

The shutout marked the first time the Sharks had been held without a goal in the regular season since December 18 of last year, when they were beaten 6-0 by the Detroit Red Wings Nabokov recorded his 48th career shutout putting him alone in third place on the all-time NHL shutout list. He surpassed Roberto Luongo and is now one behind Chris Osgood (49).


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1 2 3 OT SO T
PHO 0 0 0 0 1 1
SJ 0 0 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Heatley (miss), Setoguchi (miss), Boyle (goal). PHO: Vrbata (miss), Mueller (goal), Korpikoski (goal).
1st period - Vrbata, PHO (slashing), 3:54; Boyle, SJ (interference), 5:18.
2nd period - Bissonnette, PHO (fighting major), 3:45; Shelley, SJ (fighting major), 3:45; Shelley, SJ (tripping), 12:43; Huskins, SJ (tripping), 18:58.
3rd period - Clowe, SJ (holding), 1:40; Aucoin, PHO (interference), 2:41; Michalek, PHO (delay of game – puck over glass), 12:45.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
PHO - Bryzgalov 26 26
SJ - Nabokov 30 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
PHO 7 11 7 5 30
SJ 10 5 8 3 26
Power Play Conversion
PHO 0 of 4
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Ilya Bryzgalov
Evgeni Nabokov
Lauri Korpikoski
Referees: Meier, Kowal. Linesmen: Murray, Wheler.

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