Arizona have managed to escape SAP Center in San Jose with a point against one of the Pacific Division leaders, but at what cost?
The Coyotes didn’t play particularly convincing hockey as their scoring woes continued against the Sharks, but this wasn’t the worst news to come out of the match as Assistant Captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson suffered an upper-body injury and did not return after the 2nd period of play had ended.
No scoring in the first period despite the Coyotes having a dominant power-play and the Sharks recording 14 shots on goal - Patrick Marleau appeared to have scored within the first minute of play but the goal was waived off as offside after Arizona challenged the play.
1-0 Arizona - A huge lateral pass by Radim Vrbata to the opposite side of the zone provided Max Domi with all the time and space he needed to snipe his 4th goal of the season in past Martin Jones. Assists to Vrbata and Luke Schenn at 7:19
1-1 Tie - Alex Goligoski gets caught thinking he’s defending a 2 on 1 deep in the zone and plays passively hoping to block a pass, instead Chris Tierney accepts this as an invitation to walk right up in front of the goal and slip the puck through Mike Smith’s five-hole. Assists to Mikkel Boedker and Justin Braun at 15:29
No scoring in the third but Arizona managed to record 9 shots in the period after only managing 5 in the 1st and 2nd periods each. There was also a period of 4 on 4 play after the teams traded penalties but neither teams made any opportunities during this time and were more concerned with playing possession.
2-1 San Jose - The Sharks made quick work in OT courtesy of a late 3rd period power play carrying over into the extra time. San Jose set up in the zone and it was only a matter of time before the puck ended up on the end of Burns’ stick - he made his 1 shot in OT count. Assists to Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture at 0:19.
- Can the Coyotes get a convincing win? - No and even if they had won the lopsided shot count of 19 to 42 in favor of the Sharks means it wouldn’t have been a convincing win for the Coyotes.
- Will Jakob Chychrun play tonight and be effective? - Chychrun was scratched again - so let’s look at the player who played in his place, Luke Schenn. Schenn actually had a decent night out for the Coyotes, registering an assist on Domi’s goal, blocking a shot and making 9 hits (that’s right, NINE!) over a season high 20 minutes of time on ice. Schenn’s performance was among his best in the Sedona Red and that’s not going to help Chychrun break back into the team.
- Which Mike Smith will turn up to play? - The Excellent Version of Smith came to play and as such was Arizona’s player of the game. It can still be debated whether or not this is ‘The Real Mike Smith’ for the season as Smith traditionally plays very well against the Sharks.
Players of the Game
Arizona - Mike Smith - Stopped 40 of 42 shots he faced and finished with a healthy .952 save %, did all he could to give Arizona a shot at winning the game.
San Jose - Brent Burns - Burns took 4 shots and made 2 blocks in addition to punishing the Coyotes in OT with the game winning goal.
- For more on the San Jose Sharks, check out Fear the Fin.
- Jakob Chychrun was scratched again for the Coyotes and joining him as a healthy scratch was Kevin Connauton.
- Justin Peters served as the backup goaltender for the Coyotes as Louis Domingue continues remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson did not return after finishing the 2nd period, it was reported that he had suffered an upper-body injury.
Ekman-Larsson was spotted after the game outside #Coyotes dressing room with his left hand wrapped.— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) November 30, 2016
- Max Domi and Radim Vrbata are now tied as team leaders in points with 15 each after 21 games.
- After 8 games played this season, Mike Smith is sitting on a solid .928 save % which is right where Arizona wants him to be.
Arizona return home now to face the LA Kings for the first time in the season. Puck drop is at 7:00pm Arizona time at Gila River Arena on Thursday night.