The San Jose Sharks scored first, but allowed three unanswered goals in a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, as the Desert Dogs ended their division rival’s three-game winning streak.
With 6:03 left in the first period, Patrick Marleau turned back the clock to open the scoring. After receiving a pass from Melker Karlsson in the neutral zone, Marleau split the Coyotes’ defense at their blueline, tucked a wrist shot under Louis Domingue’s arm, and gave San Jose a 1-0 lead.
San Jose controlled play for the duration of the first period, and nearly made it 2-0 as Joonas Donskoi deflected Joel Ward’s centering pass into Domingue. Martin Jones only faced six shots in the first, but was sharp on the last shot he faced, denying Brad Richardson’s effort from the slot.
But, the Sharks’ would regret their missed opportunities 3:42 into the second period. Brad Richardson took the puck from below the goal line, and jammed it in past Martin Jones to tie the game for Arizona.
92 seconds later, Arizona took the lead on, stop me if you’ve heard this before, a first career goal. This time, it was Lawson Crouse who hit the milestone against the Sharks, as he redirected a point shot past Jones, to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead.
11:59 into the second, Jamie McGinn fired a seeing-eye shot past Jones, and Arizona’s lead grew to 3-1. With Anthony Duclair screening Jones, McGinn’s shot picked the top right corner of Jones’ net.
Brenden Dillon nearly cut the lead in half with the second period winding down. Mikkel Boedker tossed a pass from the half-wall to Dillon jumping up into the play, but Domingue flashed the level and preserved the Coyotes’ two-goal lead.
Trailing by two, the Sharks pushed to get back in the game early in the third period, but Domingue remained the Sharks’ biggest obstacle between the puck and the back of the net. San Jose couldn’t capitalize on an early power play, and Arizona came close to putting the game out of reach but Duclair fanned Dylan Strome’s pass on a two-on-zero opportunity.
Pete DeBoer pulled Jones with 3:05 left in regulation. Domingue and the Desert Dogs’ defense withstood the Sharks’ pressure with the extra attacker, until Mikkel Boedker cut the lead in half with 11.9 seconds left in regulation. The Sharks couldn’t enter the zone on the ensuing face-off, and Arizona hung on to win.
- With his 484th career goal, Marleau moved into a tie for 49th on the all-time goal-scoring list, and should continue to move up the list throughout the season. Marleau’s averaged 22 goals over the past two seasons and if he matches that total, he’ll move into a tie with...Jeremy Roenick. How’s that for gutless?
- I wonder if Martin Jones could have used the night off tonight. That’s not to say that Aaron Dell, who’s only started one NHL game in his career, would have absolutely been better. Jones has now started six straight games, which would have been his fourth longest last season. Thursday’s game against Calgary on Thursday seems like an opportunity for Pete DeBoer to play Dell, and he just may do that based on tonight.
- Still, Jones was hard to fault on any of the Coyotes’ first three goals. The first appeared to be the result of a miscommunication between Burns and Martin as Richardson skated pretty much unimpeded to the net, and the second and third were aided or caused directly by traffic in front of the net.
- Mikkel Boedker looked dangerous in his return to the desert. He used his speed well to generate offense, and the Sharks’ top line was the only one that Pete DeBoer didn’t break up in the third period. His strong play was rewarded on the scoresheet, and hopefully the floodgates open soon for the free-agent acquisition.
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lawson Crouse’s goal was the 93rd time a player has scored their first career NHL goal against the Sharks. It feels like there should be an extra zero or two in their summer, but that’s a lot of first career goals.
Fear the Fin Three Stars
- Louis Domingue
- Brad Richardson
- Patrick Marleau