Mike Smith continued his strong play after returning from a lengthy stint on the sidelines, but you need to score goals to win games and the Coyotes failed to back up their goalkeepers' strong play for a second night in a row.
The vibe of the match from both teams did not seem particularly urgent and even with the Coyotes losing 3-0 at the final buzzer, it did not feel like much had been gained or lost for either team.
1-0 Sharks: It was shades of the Tampa Bay game as the Coyotes managed to give up a late first period goal again. After wasting another five on three power play opportunity, the Sharks wrestled back momentum from the Coyotes who were only able to stay in control with a man advantage. At even strength the Sharks managed to significantly out-shoot the Coyotes and it was only a matter of time before the camel's back broke. That break came for the Sharks courtesy of a Joel Ward goal off that began with a Brenden Dillon shot from the point shortly after killing the Coyotes' penalties. Dillon's shot deflected off Joel Ward before hitting the top post and bouncing in past Mike Smith. Ward was assisted by Brenden Dillon and Joonas Donskoi at 18:23.
2-0 Sharks: An unlucky bounce for the Coyotes cost them on the penalty kill. Tomas Hertl went to make a play in front of Smith after receiving the puck behind the net, only for the puck to bounce through Smith's five-hole after deflecting off Connor Murphy's stick in a desperate effort to defend the goal right in front of Smith. Assisted by Joonas Donskoi and Paul Martin at 12:02.
3-0 Sharks: With Michael Stone in the penalty box for the final moments of the game, Arizona only managed to bring themselves back to even-strength by pulling Mike Smith. Unfortunately, the Coyotes played poorly at even-strength for most of the game and an empty net goal was simple work for Joe Pavelski who pumped the final nail in the coffin. Assisted by Brent Burns and Joe Thornton at 18:55.
|Arizona Coyotes||San Jose Sharks|
|First Period Shots||7||13|
|Second Period Shots||11||9|
|Third Period Shots||7||14|
- For San Jose's perspective, check out Fear The Fin.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson stayed in the press box with an upper body injury, joining him was Nicklas Grossmann with a day-to-day injury sustained against Tampa Bay.
Meanwhile, Jiri Sekac and Sergei Plotnikov sat for the night as healthy scratches.
Philip Samuelsson, who was called up to the NHL on Friday morning, played his fourth game of the season and his first game since November 21st 2015. Samuelsson came in as Grossman's replacement and was paired with Michael Stone. Samuelsson finished the night with a neutral +/- and two blocked shots in 16 minutes of time on ice.
Two shutouts in two nights and two games where the Coyotes failed to score on the power play really highlights how bad Arizona is now missing Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Had the Coyotes still been in playoff contention at this point in time, Ekman-Larsson's injury would have been extremely painful.
Arizona has now been shorthanded 261 times this season, which surpasses Winnipeg for most in the NHL.
The Coyotes will now return home again for a four game home stand, starting against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Puck drop is at 7:00pm local Arizona time at Gila River Arena.