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Sharks win in their 1st trip to the Mullett
1/10/2022 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks made their first visit to Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Tuesday night, and they turned in some hair raising hockey en route to a 4-2 victory over the host Arizona Coyotes. Kicking off a brief 2-game road trip, San Jose got scoring from 4 different skaters and Kaapo Kahkonen made 25 saves to earn his 5th win of the season.

The Sharks were buzzing the Mullett early, controlling the Coyotes zone for a good 4 minutes. The inevitable happened when Kevin Labanc potted his 10 goal of the season at 4:39. Tomas Hertl carried the puck off the end boards and tried to pass the puck through the slot to Timo Meier on the off wing, but it hit a skate and sat perched just to the right of the low slot where Labanc was skating. The Sharks forward was the first to get a stick on it, lifting it past goaltender Karel Vejmelka.

Arizona answered less than 2 minutes later when Barrett Hayton scored the easiest goal of his life. The Shayne Gostisbehere slid the puck toward the net from the left side as Hayton was skating across the top of the crease, the puck bounced off Kaapo Kahkonen's right pad but trickled over to the right side as Erik Karlsson stood oblivious to the location of the puck. All Hayton had to do was tap the puck home to tie the game.

Christian Fischer pushed the Coyotes out front with 3:39 left in the period when Gostisbehere sprang him with a centering pass up ice. Labanc floated back on defense an soon saw a 6-stride gap materialize before Fischer raced up ice and snapped a shot past Kahkonen for his 8th goal of the season.

Nico Sturm helped San Jose re-tie the game 5:59 into the 2nd period with some persistence on the puck. The Sharks forward gathered a Nick Bonino pass as he sliced through the slot on a diagonal toward the right post. He pulled the puck between his legs before getting a shot off Vejmelka denied him. A second chance shot off the rebound wouldn't miss however, as Sturm hit the double digit mark in goals.

Matt Nieto gave the Sharks the 3-2 lead just 9 seconds into the 3rd period. The opening faceoff kicked to the Coyotes end boards to start the period. Alexander Barabanov raced up ice and forced a turnover, kicking the puck out to Logan Couture who tried to jam a shot past Vejmelka, but the puck heeled over to the left die where Nieto deflected it home.

The Sharks got some insurance from an unlikely source with just under 6 minutes left in regulation. Defenseman Jaycob Megna scored his 1st goal of the season on a shot from the left point to push the lead to 4-2.

The Coyotes pulled Vejmelka with 2 minutes to play, but the sharks could not take advantage of the empty net.

Game Notes:

* It was the first visit to Mullett Arena in Tempe, which sits on the Arizona State University campus. The rink is a temporary home for the Coyotes who are awaiting a public vote on a new arena and entertainment complex in Tempe.

* Michael Eyssimont made his Sharks debut on Tuesday night, skating on the Sharks third line. Eyssimont introduced himself to Josh Brown in a quick bout that didn't see many punches thrown. He also had a break away chance with 3 minutes left in the game but he rejected by goaltender Karel Vejmelka.

* Nick Bonino played in his 800th career NHL game.

* Alexander Barabanov extended his points streak to 3 games with the secondary assist on Matt Nieto's 3rd period goal. Matt Benning had his 4-game scoring streak snapped.

* Kevin Labanc had a 2-point night, even though he was benched a majority of the 2nd period after his soft defense on the Christian Fischer goal.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 2 4
ARI 2 0 0 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Labanc 10 (Hertl, Meier), 4:39. 2, ARI, Hayton 4 (Gostisbhere, Chychrun), 6:29. 3, ARI, Fischer 8 (Gostisbhere, Chychrun), 16:21.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Sturm 10 (Bonino, Lindblom), 5:59.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Nieto 8 (Couture, Barabanov), 0:09. 6, SJ, Megna 1 (Karlsson, Labanc), 14:10.
1st period - Labanc, SJ (hooking), 9:38; Eyssimont, SJ (fighting major), 19:21; Brown, ARI (fighting major), 19:21.
2nd period - Nemeth, ARI (holding), 1:56; McBain, ARI (interference), 7:32; Nieto, SJ (high sticking), 14:03.
3rd period - Megna, SJ (tripping), 0:26; Bonino, SJ (slashing), 10:27.
Shots Saves
SJ - Kahkonen 27 25
ARI - Vejmelka 33 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 11 10 33
ARI 10 8 9 27
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
ARI 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Matt Nieto
Nico Sturm
Barrett Hayton
Mullett Arena - 4,600
Referees: #4 Wes McCauley, #42 Jordan Samuels-Thomas. Linesmen: #87 Devin Berg, #80 Jonathan Deschamps.

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