Final Score: San Jose 4, Phoenix 0
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Antti Niemi posted 35 saves to notch his fourth shutout of the season, as the San Jose Sharks used a three-goal second period to down the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-0, on Monday at Jobing.com Arena.
Tommy Wingels registered a goal and an assist, while Logan Couture, Matt Irwin and Joe Pavelski each scored once for the Sharks, who have won two of their last three.
With 51 points, San Jose occupies the fifth spot in the Western Conference and sits just one point back of the defending champion Los Angeles Kings, who the Sharks will host on Tuesday.
Jason LaBarbera allowed all four goals on 41 shots in Phoenix's second straight setback. With six games left on the schedule, the Coyotes find themselves four points back of Detroit and Columbus, who both have 47 points, for the final playoff spot in the West.
"We'll work on it," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said of his team's struggles. "There will be no quit in this team, I can guarantee that."
After a scoreless first period, San Jose erupted for three goals in a 7:11 span to seize control.
Couture potted the first marker at the 8:50 mark, as he buried a rebound from the low left circle to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
Wingels doubled the advantage under three minutes later when the Sharks won an offensive zone faceoff in the left circle and Wingels corralled the puck before flipping a backhander over LaBarbera for a 2-0 lead at 10:38.
Pavelski capped the flurry at the 16:01 mark when he rifled a wrister from the right circle that beat LaBarbara high to the short side to make it 3-0.
Niemi turned away 16 shots in the third to secure his 23rd career shutout, while Irwin added a power-play tally with 1:27 left in regulation to account for the final margin.
"I think we were able to keep them out of in front of the net," Niemi said.
San Jose wrapped up a four-game road trip at 2-2 and improved to 8-12-2 on the road this season ... The Sharks' last win at Jobing.com Arena came on March 26, 2011 ... Phoenix fell to 13-8-1 at home ... The Coyotes visit St. Louis on Thursday.
04/16 02:05:28 ET
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