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