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San Jose slips past Phoenix in shootout
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Patrick Marleau scored the decisive shootout goal to send the visiting San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.
After the first participant for both teams lit the lamp, San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi turned away Radim Vrbata, who had tied the game with 6:25 remaining in the third period.
Marleau then slipped the puck between the pads of Phoenix netminder Mike Smith before Niemi stopped Oliver Ekman-Larsson to secure the extra point.
Niemi made 34 saves for San Jose, which has won three straight games -- all in shootouts.
Smith finished with 28 saves for the Coyotes, whose last four games have been decided beyond regulation (1-0-3). They have dropped five of six overall.
Brent Burns buried Joe Pavelski's behind-the-net pass to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead at 10:10 of the third period, but Vrbata snapped the puck home from the left circle on a power play.
A turnover by San Jose in the offensive zone led to David Moss giving Phoenix a 1-0 lead. He gathered the puck, spun around in the slot and fired a shot past Niemi at 7:43 of the first period.
Pavelski tied the game 9:56 into the second period, but the Coyotes quickly moved back in front when Moss registered his second goal on a tip at 11:04. Marleau beat Smith on a shot from the slot for a 2-2 tie at 13:13 of the middle stanza.
Friday marked the 10-year anniversary of the Coyotes' first game at Jobing.com Arena ... The Sharks improved to 6-5 in shootouts this season, while Phoenix fell to 4-4 in the tiebreaker.
12/28 00:08:46 ET