The Arizona Coyotes losing streak may have reached its third game, but unlike their prior two matches, they managed to get a point. Arizona twice came from behind against the Pittsburgh Penguins and briefly took the lead before Pittsburgh forced the shootout. The Coyotes need all the points they can get though, and they may regret leaving the other point on the table.
Before Sunday, the Coyotes had gone seven games without allowing a power play goal, a streak that was bound to end eventually. Unfortunately, the two power play goals would prove to be the difference-maker giving Penguins early leads.
After being shut out for two games, it was good to see the Coyotes get three goals. Taylor Hall was in on the Coyotes’ first two, assisting on Conor Garland’s 15th of the season and scoring his 10th of the season. As the season comes to an end and the games become more important the team is going to need more from their best players.
Sunday marked the return of defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson who had a big game. He blocked two shots and had his first assist of the season on the Coyotes’ third goal scored by Derek Stepan.
The final shootout would prove to be one of the longer ones the Coyotes have been in this season. Taylor Hall would be the only Coyote to score, and Adin Hill standing tall for most of the shootout. The shootout went all the way to the eighth and Hill made five saves. With the Coyotes two main goaltenders being sidelined with injuries it was good to see the Coyotes get solid play from Hill.
While the California teams are still at the bottom of the Pacific Division, the San Jose Sharks are slowly starting to climb the standings. They are currently seven points behind the next team, the Edmonton Oilers, so pending a major collapse they aren’t likely to make the playoffs.
Despite the weak start, the Sharks are having a great 2020. They are 4-1-1 so far, losing only to the Washington Capitals in overtime and the St. Louis Blues in regulation. They also have two wins against the Columbus Blue Jackets, a regulation win against the Dallas Stars, and an overtime win against the Penguins.
Goaltending has been a big problem for the Sharks this season. Backup goaltender Aaron Dell has been getting more starts as of late, and he has the numbers to justify that decision. In 20 games played he has a .910 save percentage and a 2.77 goals-against average, not great numbers but better than Martin Jones.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Taylor Hall - Hall was the only Coyotes player to have a multi-point game on Sunday and he scored his 10th of the season. The Coyotes are going to need players like Hall to step up and generate offensive.
San Jose: Erik Karlsson - The Sharks took a big risk in signing Karlsson to an eight-year deal, but he can still lead to his team scoring. He comes into tonight’s game riding a five-game point streak with a goal and five assists.
Arizona: Antti Raanta (questionable, lower body), Barrett Hayton (shoulder), Darcy Kuemper (lower body)
San Jose: Brent Burns (probable, upper body), Barclay Goodrow (probable, illness), Logan Couture (knee), Dalton Prout (upper body)
Tonight’s game at 7:00 pm Arizona time will air on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and Fox Sports 910 AM.