The Arizona Coyotes crawled over the finish line for the 2015-16 season battered, beaten, but optimistic. Even a 1-0 shutout at the hands of the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center on Saturday night was not enough to dampen the general sense that the team made significant strides from last season to this one.
No scoring in the first period, but plenty of fireworks. Are we sure these two teams aren't in the middle of a playoff series?
Neither team could break through in this period either, though the path to the penalty box was far less busy compared to the first; San Jose took the only minor penalty of the frame but killed it off with ease.
1-0 San Jose: It took a lengthy 5 on 3 opportunity, but the Sharks finally solved Mike Smith and the Coyotes. Some cross-ice passing between Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski eventually wound up on Pavelski's stick, who rifled a shot past a sprawling Smith. Assists to Thornton and Brent Burns on the 5 on 3 goal at 7:29.
|Arizona Coyotes||San Jose Sharks|
|First Period Shots||10||13|
|Second Period Shots||7||11|
|Third Period Shots||3||8|
|Power Plays||0 for 4||1 for 6|
- For the San Jose recap, check out Fear The Fin
- No Alex Grant tonight; Nicklas Grossmann and Klas Dahlbeck both make their return to the lineup.
- The officials were busy early; a few minutes after Roman Polak boarded Tobias Rieder, Doan dropped the gloves to fight with Polak. Doan received a two-minute instigator penalty, a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for fighting without a visor, and a 10 minute misconduct on top of his five-minute fighting major.
- Arizona exited the first period with 23 penalty minutes.
- With the primary assist on the Pavelski 5 on 3 goal, Joe Thornton finishes the season averaging a point per game.
- Arizona's final record: 35-39-8 for 78 points. The finish is a 22 point improvement on Arizona's record from the 2014-15 season.
- Arizona's final average attendance: 13,433, a difference of +88 per game from last season.
Arizona will next play competitive hockey again in October. Buckle up for what should be yet another eventful offseason.