NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Phoenix
(Tuesday, March 25th)
Final Score: Phoenix 5, San Jose 4 (OT)
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Martin Hanzal scored 3:23 into overtime to lift Phoenix to a wild 5-4 win over the San Jose Sharks, as the Coyotes halted a five-game winless skid and kept their slim playoff hopes alive.
Derek Morris, Enver Lisin, Steve Reinprecht and Shane Doan also scored for the Coyotes, who now have 80 points and along with Chicago trail the Colorado Avalanche by six points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Phoenix, which will travel to California for games against the Kings and Sharks on Thursday and Sunday, respectively, has five games remaining on its schedule. Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside 30 shots in the win.
Joe Thornton recorded the third hat trick of his career for the Sharks, who saw their three-game win streak halted but still earned at least one point for the 16th consecutive game (14-0-2).
San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was pulled after he allowed four goals on 26 shots in 43-plus minutes of action. Brian Boucher stopped nine shots in relief.
After Thornton's second goal of the game capped an early third-period offensive surge and brought the Sharks within 4-3, he completed his hat trick via a deflection goal with 2:46 remaining in regulation.
The contest went into overtime and Hanzal ended it with his seventh goal. Keith Ballard's drop pass on a 3-on-2 rush was behind Hanzal, who stopped in his tracks to get control. From the right slot, Hanzal fired a blazing wrist shot that flew over Boucher's left shoulder as the Coyotes skated off with the win.
Despite the OT setback, the Sharks -- who have already clinched a postseason berth -- currently hold the second seed in the West with 100 points and pushed their lead atop the Pacific Division to six points over idle Anaheim.
The Coyotes held a comfortable three-goal lead early in the third period, but a flurry of goals from both teams led to a wild finish.
Trailing 3-0, Thornton's 22nd goal at the 2:51 mark got the Sharks on the board. Jeremy Roenick held control along the goal line to the left of the net and sent a pass across the crease for Thornton, whose one-timer from the right side easily lit the lamp.
Only 29 seconds later, Marc-Edouard Vlasic cut the San Jose deficit to 3-2. He gained control of a loose puck in the high left slot before his wrist shot deflected off the elbow pad of Phoenix blueliner Zbynek Michalek and flew past Bryzgalov.
Less than a minute later, Phoenix restored its two-goal edge on Reinprecht's 16th goal of the season. Nabokov misplayed a dump-in behind the net and the puck caromed onto the stick of Mathias Tjarnqvist, who quickly fed the disc into the goal mouth for a wide open tap-in by Reinprecht at 4:05.
The tally chased Nabokov from the game in favor of Boucher, and the change seemed to light a fire under the visitors, who responded with another goal 49 seconds after Reinprecht's tally.
Thornton intercepted the puck in the left side of the zone near the inner rim of the circle and sent a pass into the goal mouth. It appeared to deflect off the stick of Milan Michalek, who was originally credited with the goal. After further review, though, it was deemed that the puck hit a Phoenix skate on its way into the net and Thornton's second goal of the game brought the Sharks within one.
Following a scoreless opening period, the Coyotes scored twice in the second.
First, at the 8:25 mark, Morris lit the lamp for the eighth time this season. Daniel Winnik carried the puck down the left-wing side and a 2-on-1 developed with Morris on the opposite side. Winnik looked into the eyes of Nabokov as if to shoot, but instead fired a no-look pass across the slot for a successful one-timer by Morris.
In the latter stages of the period, Lisin's third goal gave Phoenix a two-goal edge. He held control along the goal line to the right of the net, skated in and tucked home a stuffer at the near post with 1:11 to go before the second intermission.
Doan's 27th goal 2:16 into the final stanza -- a short-handed wrister from the low left slot off a nice feed from Winnik -- pushed the Phoenix lead to 3-0.
San Jose is now 26-8-4 on the road this season...The visitors were 2-for-3 on the power play and held Phoenix scoreless on its three chances with the extra skater...Thornton now has 24 goals and 65 assists this season...Attendance was 15,991.
03/26 01:47:00 ET