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Sharks survive hapless Coyotes
SJ relies on the shootout to beat Arizona
12/28/2021 - By Mike Lee

After having their last three games postponed by COVID and the Christmas break, the Sharks returned to action on Tuesday night, but they may have preferred that this one be deferred as well. Facing off against the league's worst team, San Jose overcame a 7-goal performance by the visiting Arizona Coyotes, winning 8-7 in the shootout. It wasn't a very inspiring return to work, after their brief hiatus, but allowing that many goals to the league's door mat has to be a concern for the Sharks, who are scrambling to claw back into a playoff spot.

San Jose took advantage of Arizona netminder Scott Wedgewood, putting 7 pucks past him, but the typically reliable James Reimer also surrendered 7 goals. Wedgwood only faced 27 shots, while Reimer's workload was considerably larger. The Sharks goaltender made 39 saves to earn his 10th win of the season.

Alexander Barabanov led the Sharks with a goal an assist. He was credited with the game's first goal when a Logan Couture shot deflected off him and past Wedgewood.

Lawson Crouse tied the game 3 minutes later when he one-timed a Phil Kessel feed from the bottom of the left circle, beating Reimer with a shot through the 5-hole.

San Jose reclaimed the lead at 11:22, when Nick Bonino slipped a puck past Wedgewood after Matt Nieto bounced a shot off the Coyotes goaltender. Bonino was sliding down the middle of the slot when Nieto's shot kicked back out front. Bonino pulled the puck to his right to evade Wedgewood for his 5th goal of the season.

Rookie defenseman Janis Moser roofed a Crouse feed over Reimer's left shoulder from the slot with 2:20 left in the period. Suppressing the Coyotes late would be a major hole for San Jose all night.

Radim Simek scored his 1st goal of the season 5:27 into the 2nd period, when he unloaded on a shot from the top of the right circle.

Jeffrey Viel staked the Sharks to a 2-goal lead just 7 seconds later when he chased down a puck off the center-ice draw, then threw it to the front of the Coyotes goal where Dysin Mayo tried to intercept it, but ended up deflecting it into his own net. The goal was Viel's 1st career NHL goal.

Clayton Keller cut the Sharks lead to 4-3 when he gathered a Phil Kessel pass near the left circle, then snapping a shot past Reimer. Kessel fed Keller the puck from the right-wing boards, zipping across the rink to the off wing for one of his four assists on the night.

Timo Meier scored his 13th of the season at 14:13 to make it a 5-3 game. The Sharks forward swatted a floating puck out of the air after Barabanov chipped it off a Coyotes defender.

A Jayden Galbewachs holding penalty setup the first of three Coyote power plays. Moser converted the power play for his 2nd goal of the game when he sent a shot from the point that slipped past three Sharks in the shooting lane.

Tomas Hertl staked the Sharks to another 2-goal lead just 1:44 into the 3rd period when he uncorked one-time feed from Noah Gregor, who made the feed from the left corner. The goal was Hertl's 15th of the season.

Crouse scored his 2nd goal of the game at 7:35 on a put back chance after Mayo bounced a shot off Reimer from the point.

Couture scored the goal of the game with 7 minutes remaining in the period. Erik Karlsson saw Barabanov flying down the left wing so he fired the puck into the Coyotes zone as he approached the blueline the right side. The puck bounced off the left corner end boards to the streaking Barabanov. The Russian winger then dropped the puck to Couture who was trailing on the play for the deposit and a 7-5 lead.

Arizona erased that lead with goals from Shane Gostisbehere and Andrew Ladd. The latter came with 89 seconds remaining in regulation on the power play after Brent Burns took a ill-timed cross checking penalty.

The game would head to overtime where the Sharks should have ended it after Keller took a hooking penalty 53 seconds into the extra frame, but San Jose could not generate any quality chances.

San Jose decided things in the shootout when both Couture and Hertl converted their chances. Reimer denied both Nick Schmaltz and Keller to end it.

Game Notes:

* Brent Burns played in his 1200th NHL game.

* Erik Karlsson had a game to forget. He was on the ice for 6 of the 7 Coyotes goals, but his play in the overtime period may have been some of his most uninspired play as a Shark.

* The Coyotes finished the game by scoring on 2 of their 3 power play chances. The penalty kill has been a point of strength for San Jose this season, but it was a major weakness in this contest.

* 15 Sharks skaters recorded points in the game. 9 Coyotes recorded points.

* San Jose struggled in the faceoff circle, where they only won 25 of 58 draws (43%)


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1 2 3 OT SO T
ARI 2 2 3 0 0 7
SJ 2 3 2 0 1 8
1st period - 1, SJ, Barabanov 4 (Couture, Meier), 2:46. 2, ARI, Crouse 7 (Kessel), 5:36. 3, SJ, Bonino 5 (Nieto, Cogliano), 11:22. 4, ARI, Moser 1 (Crouse), 17:40.
2nd period - 5, SJ, Simek 1 (Halbewachs, Vlasic), 5:27. 6, SJ, Viel 1 (Gadjovich, Pederson), 5:34. 7, ARI, Keller 10 (Kessel, Larsson), 7:48. 8, SJ, Meier 13 (Barabanov, Couture), 14:13. 9, ARI, Moser 2 (Larsson, Eriksson), 19:37, (pp).
3rd period - 10, SJ, Hertl 15 (Gregor), 1:44. 11, ARI, Crouse 8 (Mayo, Kessel), 7:35. 12, SJ, Couture 10 (Barabanov, Karlsson), 13:00. 13, ARI, Gostibehere 5 (Kessel, Larsson), 16:51. 14, ARI, Ladd 5 (Crouse, Gostibehere), 18:31, (pp).
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Couture (goal), Hertl (goal). ARI: Schmaltz (miss), Keller (miss).
1st period - Jenik, ARI (cross checking), 2:32; Jenik, ARI (fighting major), 2:32; Gadjovich, SJ (cross checking), 2:32; Gadjovich, SJ (fighting major), 2:32; Ladd, ARI (roughing), 8:42.
2nd period - Halbgewachs, SJ (holding), 17:59.
3rd period - Gadjovich, SJ (slashing), 8:30; Capobianco, ARI (hooking), 13:14.
Overtime - Keller, ARI (hooking), 0:53.
Shots Saves
ARI - Wedgewood 27 20
SJ - Reimer 46 39
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
ARI 14 14 13 5 46
SJ 8 11 6 2 27
Power Play Conversion
ARI 2 of 3
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Alexander Barabanov
Logan Couture
Lawson Crouse
SAP Center - 11,450
Referees: #29 Ian Walsh, #46 Brandon Schrader . Linesmen: #55 Kyle Flemington, #59 Steve Barton.

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