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Back to back shootout wins for SJ
Sharks win in the desert 4-3
12/27/13 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks made their return from the league's short Christmas break on Friday night with a quick jaunt to the desert for a game with the Phoenix Coyotes. San Jose had to shake off the cob webs after a sluggish start at Jobing.com Arena in Arizona in a back and forth affair that was eventually decided in the shootout. San Jose made the best of their chances in the skills competition, winning 4-3 and earning 2 points to keep pace with the Western Conference leaders.

* Matt Nieto committed a horrific gaff, turning over the puck from behind his own net, trying to feather a pass up the middle of the ice. David Moss stepped in front of the pass, then pivoted to his left and fired a shot that found the top right corner of the San Jose goal. The shot appeared to clip Brad Stuart's shin pad right after leaving Moss' stick.

* Andrew Desjardins took out a bit of his frustration with Moss's goal by pummeling Kyle Chipchura. The Sharks forward caught Chipchura with a pair of lefts, with the last one dropping the Coyotes centerman to his knees.

* Brent Burns took an interference penalty at the end of the 1st period, but the Sharks were able to diffuse the situation. They wouldn't be as lucky late in the game.

* Joe Pavelski tied the game at 1-1 midway through the 2nd period, snapping a feed from Joe Thornton for his 16th goal of the season. Thornton slid a pass from the right wing through the slot to Pavelski who was parked at the bottom of the left circle. Pavelski chose to shoot from the tough angle, but the puck cleared Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.

* The Coyotes answered Pavelski's goal a minute later when Moss converted for the second time. Moss got a piece of a David Schlemko shot, tipping it past Niemi to steal the momentum right back.

* Patrick Marleau used some of his magic at 13:13 to knot the game at 2-2. Tommy Wingels raced up the left wing, drawing two Coyote defenders to that side of the ice before whipping a pass to Marleau in the slot. Marleau had two defenders to deal with himself, but be managed to receive the pass and get a shot off between the two Coyotes, beating Smith through the five-hole.

* Pavelski and Brent burns teamed up to put the Sharks in the lead for the first time at 10:10 of the 3rd period. Pavelski fought off a defender along the Coyote end boards, then saw Burns cutting down the slot. Burns grabbed Pavelski's feed from behind the left post and beat Smith with a shot that went top shelf.

* Tommy Wingels took a poor penalty in the offensive zone as the Sharks were trying to enter the zone 2 minutes after Burns had given San Jose the lead. San Jose's penalty killers almost denied Phoenix, but Radim Vrbata used a screen in front of Niemi to score his 11th goal of the season with a shot from the left point.

* Burns had a chance to end the game in overtime when he stepped in front of a pass at the Coyotes blueline, but Smith stoned him as he walked in on net and tried to wrist a shot home form 18 feet.

* From the if it works, don't mess with it department, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan sent Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau out as the first two shooters in the shootout. He wouldn't need any more than that after both skaters put shots past Smith. Niemi countered by allowing Mikkel Boedker to lead off the shootout with a goal, before snuffing out attempts by Vrbata and Oliver Emkan-Larsson.

* Marleau's shot in the shootout was his 5th career shootout-deciding goal. He opened the season by going 0-for-5 in the skills competition.

* Niemi finished the evening with 34 saves, not including the two he made in the shootout.

* The Tyler Kennedy, John McCarthy, Matt Nieto line struggled, going a combined -6 on the evening. In addition to Nieto's turnover, Kennedy missed covering Schlemko on Moss' 2nd goal. Kennedy had top-side coverage but he over-skated the play, allowing Schlemko to get the shot off from the blueline.

* Brent Burns had a game-high 6 shots on goal. Four Coyotes had 4 or more shots.

* Logan Couture continues to struggle in the goal-scoring department, but he won 14 of 21 face-offs to take a positive away from the evening.

* Martin Havlat did not travel with the team to Phoenix, and was scratched with what was reported as a lower body injury.

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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 0 2 1 0 1 4
PHO 1 1 1 0 0 3
1st period - 1, PHO, Moss 4 (unassisted), 7:43.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 16 (Thornton, Burns), 9:56. 3, PHO, Moss 5 (Schlemko, Ribbeiro), 11:04. 4, SJ, Marleau 17 (Wingels), 13:12, (pp).
3rd period - 5, SJ, Burns 11 (Pavelski, Thornton), 10:10. 6, PHO, Vrbata 11 (Ribeiro, Yandle), 13:35, (pp).
Overtime - None.
Shootout - PHO: Boedker (goal), Vrbata (miss), Ekman-Larsson (miss). SJ: Couture (goal), Marleau (goal).
Penalties
1st period - Desjardins, SJ (fighting major), 7:48; Chipchura, PHO (fighting major), 7:48; Kennedy, PHO (elbowing), 11:37; Burns, SJ (tripping), 19:42.
2nd period - Morris, PHO (interference), 11:18.
3rd period - Morris, PHO (interference), 2:13; Wingels, SJ (interference), 11:50.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 37 34
PHO - Smith 31 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 12 7 9 3 31
PHO 11 12 12 2 37
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
PHO 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
David Moss
Mike Ribeiro
Antti Niemi
Attendence
17,125
Officials
Referees: Hasenfratz, Watson. Linesmen: Grandt, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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