Better late than never, if you're an Arizona Coyotes fan.
In the dying minutes of the third period, the Coyotes broke a 1-1 tie en route to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night at Gila River Arena. The win marks Arizona's third victory in a row.
1-0 Arizona: Even if Oliver Ekman-Larsson is not on the ice, it is never a good idea to leave Arizona's defensemen with a lot of room to shoot. In this case, Michael Stone had practically an entire half of the offensive zone to fire a slap shot past Martin Jones. The Sharks would challenge the goal for being the product of an offside entry, but the goal would stand. Assist to Alex Tanguay on the goal at 13:23.
1-1 Tie: Tomas Hertl proved to be Johnny On the Spot for San Jose, as a Paul Martin point shot was stopped by Mike Smith. But Hertl was left alone in front, and he had enough time to collect the rebound and lift the puck over Smith to even the score. Assists to Martin and Joe Thornton on the goal at 14:29.
2-1 Arizona: The hockey gods are fickle beings. Some days, even the best laid shots don't go in, thanks to a majestic save or a heroic shot block. Other times, pucks that have no business going in cross the line anyways. Tonight, the hockey gods smiled upon Shane Doan, as his centering pass from below the baseline somehow got behind Jones to give the Coyotes a lead late in the third period. Assists to Klas Dahlbeck and Max Domi on the goal at 18:29.
3-1 Arizona: After saving San Jose's bacon in the second period, Tomas Hertl had a momentarily brain fart when he boarded Connor Murphy. On the ensuing power play, Arizona won a defensive zone faceoff and eventually got the puck up to a streaking Antoine Vermette, who easily hit the empty cage to seal the win for Arizona. Assists to Michael Stone and Kevin Connauton on the power play goal at 19:06.
|San Jose Sharks||Arizona Coyotes|
|First Period Shots||4||6|
|Second Period Shots||11||8|
|Third Period Shots||13||8|
|Power Plays||0 for 2||1 for 2|
- For the San Jose reaction, check out Fear The Fin.
- Kyle Chipchura was a healthy scratch again tonight; he has not played since March 5th in Florida.
- Fortune favored Dave Tippett early tonight, as a first period San Jose goal was successfully challenged by the Coyotes for being the result of an offside zone entry.
- Antoine Vermette's empty-net power play goal was his fourth goal and sixth point in his last three games.
- With the game-winner tonight, Shane Doan is now just 60 points away from 1,000 career points.
- With a helper tonight, Joe Thornton tied Patrick Kane for second place among NHLers this season with 52 assists.
- Arizona only has three games remaining against non-playoff teams this year, and one of those comes against the Philadelphia Flyers, who sit just one point out of the Wild Card spot in the East.
- Attendance: 13,005.
Arizona's homestand continues on Saturday with a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Puck drop is at 7 PM Arizona time.