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Countdown to Coyotes Preseason: 52 Days

With the beginning of the Phoenix Coyote's NHL Preseason 52 days away, our topic for review this afternoon is the 52nd game of the 2011-2012 season. On February 4, the Coyotes dropped the puck against the San Jose Sharks in what was the beginning of a legendary winning streak. Arena was packed with fans because of the dollar beer promotion and anybody who attended a playoff game can tell you that high attendance games are epic. As the desert hockey fans imbibed themselves on copious amounts of cheap beer, the Coyotes took the ice against their division rivals.

The game started off slowly with neither team creating much offense. The Coyotes had a chance at the end of the first after a 2 minute hooking penalty to Brent Burns, but failed to convert. Neither team was able to score in the first.

San Jose struck early in the 2nd Period with a goal from Logan Couture, but the Coyotes quickly responded to tie it. By the end of the period, Phoenix led 3-2 with goals from Raffi Torres, Lauri Korpikoski and Martin Hanzal.

The 3rd Period went back and forth with the Coyotes and Sharks swapping goals from Korpikoski and Patrick Marleau. Trailing by just one goal, the Sharks turned up the offensive pressure and eventually pulled Antii Niemi out of the net. The Yotes, however, were not to be deterred. With just 1 second left on the clock, Radim Vrbata sent the puck into the back of San Jose's empty net.

After a rough January, the Coyotes were empowered by this underdog victory over their heated rivals. They went on to remain unbeaten in regulation for the entire month of February. When they eventually made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Coyotes used the confidence gained during this streak to propel them into the Western Conference Finals.