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Sharks wither in the desert
Lowly Coyotes handle Sharks
11/1/16 - By Mike Lee -

Looking at the box score, the Sharks peppered goaltender Louis Domingue and the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night but ran into a hot goaltender that shut them down. The reality of it all is much different. San Jose played 20 minutes of hockey at Gila River Arena, then took the easy road to a flight back home after dropping a lifeless 3-2 decision to the worst team in the NHL.

The Coyotes entered play in Tuesday with a 2-6-0 record and should have been easy pickings for the Sharks who had won three straight games. October losses to doormats are games that haunt you in April, but they even worse when they come against a team that has found every way to lose this season.

The Sharks showed signs of concern early in the game, when the chances piled up, but the finish was absent. San Jose certainly controlled the temp and the puck for the majority of the opening period, out-shooting Arizona 14-6. The Coyotes were looking to simply disrupt the Sharks as was evident by the fight Ryan White induced Micheal Haley into 2:32 into the game. It was a simple tactic, but it seemed to focus the Coyotes, and distract the Sharks.

Things looked like they were going to self correct themselves when Patrick Marleau snapped a shot from the left side that just slipped past Domingue to give the Sharks the 1-0 lead.

San Jose then tried to get cute with the puck and mystify Domingue with their perimeter passing. Rather than blitzing Domingue, the Sharks decided to pump long range, unscreened shots, that the Coyotes goaltender handled with ease.

The Coyotes survived the opening period with a 1-goal deficit.

They'd go to work in the 2nd period and caught Sharks goaltender Martin Jones with his pants down. Richardson tied the game 3:42 into the period by skating a puck off the end boards to the front of the net before sliding a backhand shot around Jones' left pad. Brent Burns and Paul Martin expected Richardson to pass the puck to the front of the net, and both were caught flat-footed as the Coyotes forward made a bee-line for the crease out of the left corner.

Rookie Lawson Crouse became the latest player to score his 1st NHL goal against the Sharks 68 seconds after Richardson's tally. Crouse slipped behind the Sharks defense and tipped a Kevin Connauton shot from the left point. Justin Braun just flat out lost his coverage, allowing Crouse to setup perfectly in front of Jones.

Former Sharks forward Jamie McGinn pushed the Coyotes lead to 3-1 with 8 minutes to play in the period. McGinn grabbed a puck as he circled out of the high slot to the top of the left circle before pivoting to his left and whipping a long shot that sailed over Jones left arm for his 2nd goal of the season. Winger Anthony Duclair seemed to distract Jones as he tried positioning himself near the right post.

San Jose had more than enough time to make a game of it, but they seemed disinterested in venturing anywhere near Domingue. That lack of pressure on the Coyotes netminder meant to distraction or concern. Dominue just say back and gloved every 40-foot shot that San Jose threw his way.

The Sharks sent 17 shots Domingue's way in the 3rd period but only Mikkel Boedker's one timer from the slot with 10.9 seconds left in the game was the only thing that remotely challenged the Coyotes goaltender.

Boedker's shot slipped past his former teammate for his 2nd goal of the season, but it was too little, too late.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks may want to go back to flubbing in the faceoff circle, because they finally dominated in that category on Tuesday night, but the outcome didn't favor them. San Jose won 58% of the draws on the night.

* Patrick Marleau and Tomas Hertl were both a +2 in the game. 10 Sharks finished a -1.

* Phoenix blocked 27 shots in the game, which was indicative of the Sharks bombs-away shot selection from the safety of distance.

* Brent Burns was credited with 11 shots in the game. Unfortunately there were no screens or deflections to make any of those attempts uncomfortable for Domingue.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 1 2
ARI 0 3 0 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Marleau 3 (Karlsson, Hertl), 14:07.
2nd period - 2, ARI, Richardson 4 (Rieder, Schenn), 3:42. 3, ARI, Crouse 1 (Connauton, White), 4:50. 4, ARI, McGinn 2 (Ekman-Larsson, Goligoski), 11:59.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Boedkker 2 (Donskoi, Hertl), 19:48.
1st period - Haley, SJ (fighting major), 2:32; White, ARI (fighting major), 2:32; Connauton, ARI (interference), 10:51.
2nd period - Marleau, SJ (tripping), 6:39.
3rd period - Richardson, ARI (hooking) 5:22; Vlasic, SJ (tripping), 9:36.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 30 27
ARI - Domingue 41 39
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 14 10 17 41
ARI 6 11 11 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
ARI 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Louis Domingue
Brad Richardson
Lawson Crouse
Gila River Arena - 11,046
Referees: Chmielewski, Leggo. Linesmen: Racicot, Gibbs.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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