NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Phoenix|
(Friday, April 8th)
Final Score: Phoenix 4, San Jose 3
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata each had a goal
and an assist as the Phoenix Coyotes punched their ticket to the playoffs with
a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks.
With 99 points, Phoenix moved into a tie with Nashville, which also won on
Friday, for the fourth spot in the Western Conference as each team has a game
to play. Phoenix will wrap up the home-and-home set and its season in San Jose
on Saturday while Nashville plays in St. Louis on Saturday.
"I said before the season started that every point is valuable and we got down
to every point," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "That's a big two
points we got here tonight and we still have a shot at home-ice for the
San Jose stays a point ahead of idle Detroit for the second spot in the
Western Conference as each team has one game left. Detroit's last game is in
Chicago on Sunday.
Ray Whitney and Andrew Ebbett each had a goal for the Coyotes, who had dropped
three of four coming in. Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 24 shots in the win.
Ian White and Dany Heatley scored goals and Joe Thornton recorded the 1,000th
point of his career with a goal in the third period for the Sharks, who have
dropped their past two. Antti Niemi made 22 saves in the loss.
"We feel good and we feel confident," said Thornton. "We have three more
periods before the big party starts and we will be ready for it."
The only goal of the first period came from Ebbett as his wrister beat Niemi
with 4:02 left in the frame to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead.
San Jose tied it 4:31 into the second on White's third goal of the year, but
Phoenix answered twice in the frame for a 3-1 advantage.
The first goal came at the 8:57 mark when Doan sent a pass from the right
boards to the front where Whitney chipped it in.
Just over 2 1/2 minutes later, Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle hit a post and
Phoenix went back the other way on a 3-on-1 break. Eric Belanger fired a pass
from the left wing to the right side where Vrbata roofed the puck for his 19th
of the campaign.
Doan's 20th of the season -- on the power play at the 8:22 mark of the
third -- gave Phoenix a 4-1 lead, but San Jose counterpunched twice.
Thornton entered the 1,000-point club at the 9:27 mark as he batted the
puck out of mid-air in front of the net for his 21st goal of the season.
Heatley then made it a one-goal game with 3:39 to play as he skated around to
the high slot and blasted a shot into the net.
San Jose, though, was unable to net the equalizer despite several quality
chances at the end.
Thornton is the 78th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points and is the
second player to accomplish the feat in a Sharks uniform (Vincent
Damphousse)...San Jose had won eight straight in the series...Bryzgalov also
recorded his 130th victory as a member of the Coyotes and broke the all-time
Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise record previously held by Bob Essensa.
04/09 02:06:52 ET