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NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at San Jose



(Wednesday, December 28th)

Final Score: Phoenix 5, San Jose 4

San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Shane Doan had a goal and an assist to give Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky a victory after his leave of absence as the Coyotes defeated the San Jose Sharks, 5-4, at HP Pavilion.

Gretzky missed the last five games due to family affairs relating to the death of his mother, Phyllis. He left the club on December 17 to be with his ailing mother who died two days later in Ontario following a battle with lung cancer. Rick Tocchet was the interim head coach and the Coyotes went 2-3 during the stretch.

Mike Johnson and Derek Morris each had a goal and an assist and Jamie Lundmark and Oleg Saprykin notched goals for the Coyotes, who have won three of their last four games. Brian Boucher made 30 saves in the victory.

Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and Grant Stevenson each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have dropped their last four games. Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves before being pulled in the third period. Vesa Toskala took over goaltending duties and saved the two shots he faced.

Phoenix was trailing 2-1 going into the final 20 minutes, however they scored four goals in under three minutes to take a 5-2 lead.

The game-tying goal came on a 5-on-3 power play. Ladislav Nagy made a pass from the right circle to Morris high in the slot, who one-timed it into the net at the 1:46 mark of the third period. Just 1:01 later Lundmark redirected a Doan backhand shot to give the Coyotes their first lead of the game.

Phoenix was not done and made it a 4-2 game after Saprykin took a slapshot that Nabokov made a pad save on. However, the puck bounced off of the back boards and hit Nabokov in the back of the leg and went into the net at the 3:42 mark. Johnson redirected a shot by Paul Mara to make it a 5-2 game just 1:02 later.

Nabokov was pulled after the Johnson goal and Toskala took over netminding duties for San Jose.

San Jose, however, scored the next two goals to make it a 5-4 game.

Nils Ekman poked the puck in during a scrum in front of the net for his seventh goal of the season at the 6:58 mark of the last stanza. Michalek then made it a one goal game after skating around a Coyotes defender and slipping a backhand between the pads of Boucher with 9:24 to play.

San Jose had a late power play and pulled its goaltender as the power play was expiring, but Phoenix was able to hold on.

The Sharks opened up the scoring in the game thanks to a Coyotes turnover. A Coyote player attempted to clear the puck out of the zone from deep along the left boards. However, the puck went right to Cheechoo, who flicked it into the right corner of the net just 2:34 into the contest.

But, the Coyotes tied the game on a goal by Doan with just 10 seconds remaining in the first period.

San Jose took a 2-1 lead early in the second period. During a scrum in front of the net Stevenson smacked the puck out of the air from the left side of the net past Boucher for his sixth goal of the season at the 3:13 mark.

Phoenix appeared to tie the game at 7:08 of the second period. However, after a review it was determined that Doan had kicked the puck in.

Game Notes

Phoenix returns home for a game against Los Angeles on Thursday...The Sharks host the Avalanche on Friday...The Coyotes have defeated the Sharks in the last three games...Nagy finished the game with two assists...Phoenix went 2- for-7 on the power play...San Jose scored twice in its five power-play opportunities.

12/29 01:38:08 ET


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