Arizona Coyotes thump San Jose Sharks

The Arizona Coyotes needed a confidence builder game to get them out of the doldrums they've been in so far this new season.

Arizona Coyotes thump San Jose Sharks
The Coyotes found a way to get past the San Jose Sharks. Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)
San Jose Sharks
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Arizona Coyotes

Going into this game the Arizona Coyotes knew the San Jose Sharks would be a formidable opponent, but they also knew it was more than about time to turn their bad start around.

They did just that with an exceptional effort in the net by Louis Domingue, who made 39 saves, and kept his team in the game. 

To defeat the defending Western Conference champs will most assuredly build the confidence of this young team.

The win didn't come without some bad news. Martin Hanzal went down in the second period with yet another lower body injury. Injuries have plagued the big guy, and it is yet unknown how long he will be sidelined.

To add salt to the wound, Tobias Rieder, also went down in the third period after blocking a shot. He added to the team's total of 27 blocks, with four of his own. His status is also unknown, and it put the Coyotes short-handed in the forward spot. If Hanzal can't return, it would be advisable to bring Christian Dvorak back from the AHL Tucson Roadrunners after he was just sent down on Monday.

Here's how the game went down.

First period was all Sharks

San Jose dominated play with 14 shots on Domingue, but only one by Patrick Marleau got by the Coyotes' goalie. He made some excellent saves, and kept his team in the game early.

The action was hot and heavy early as Micheal Haley and Ryan White shared unpleasantries at the 2:32 mark. White managed to get some good shots in near the end of the scuffle. 

The period ended with the visiting Bay area boys ahead 1-0.

Second period arising

The Arizona Coyotes whom their fans remembered came alive in this middle stanza to really shake up the Sharks. 

Brad Richardson, whose play has been exceptional this new season, got the party started with his fourth goal at the 3:42 mark. He and Rieder went into the left corner fighting for possession of the rubber disc, and Reider gave it to Richardson, who did a nice move in front of Sharks goalie Martin Jones to tuck it in off his backhand.

Coyotes tied it at one.

That goal seemed to fire up the team, or perhaps Head Coach Dave Tippett had something to do with it during the intermission, but the Yotes took only 1:18 to score again.

This time one of the promising young prospects by the name of Lawson Crouse was able to deflect a shot from the left point by Kevin Connauton for his first NHL goal. The Coyotes took a 2-1 lead.

The way to beat a great team like the Sharks is to hit them hard and hit them fast. This goal more or less took the wind out of the sails for the San Jose team.

Arizona owned this period as they threatened numerous times down the ice and managed 13 shots on net.

The final goal of the period was scored by Jamie McGinn, registering his second of the season with some awesome screening of Jones by Anthony Duclair. At first it appeared that Duclair may have had the puck deflect off his body, but the replay showed McGinn's shot had eyes as it zipped over Jones' shoulder and into the upper right corner.

The period, by far was the best of this season by the Coyotes. Domingue made a circus leg-splitting glove save with five seconds remainin to stymie Brenden Dillon.

They led going into the third period up 3-1.

Third period was all about defense and goaltending

Louis Domingue made 39 saves enroute to a big win against San Jose. (Source: Getty Images)
Louis Domingue made 39 saves enroute to a big win against San Jose. (Source: Getty Images)

The Coyotes knew that the Sharks weren't going to lie down and give up. They hammered the Arizona net for 17 shots, all of which Domingue stopped except for the final goal of the game. Mikkel Boedker got a goal at 19:48 after the Sharks had pulled Jones with three minutes remaining in regulation.

The Coyotes displayed the kind of defense that Coach Tippett has been looking for all season. 

Brett Burns had 11 shots on goal, so you know that when that man is on the point, his quick release is deadly. 

To hold the Sharks to two goals was something the Coyotes needed to do to win, and they did that well. It was the first game this season where the Coyotes held their opponent to less than three goals.

Final analysis

If the Coyotes have awoken from their deep sleep they couldn't have chosen a better time to do it. This game showed they can play an elite team and beat them.

Dylan Strome had a couple of chances to score, but on one break he passed the puck over to Anthony Duclair who fanned on the shot. Duclair looked better, but he will be happy to get on the scoreboard once that happens, and it will.

Strome looked like he was into the game, and he needs to continue to improve to stay here playing in the NHL.

Good game, good defense, and outstanding goaltending was the story tonight.

Now, let's see if the team can keep it up. 

Next up

The Nashville Predators will make an appearance on Thursday night at Gila River Arena, fresh off their one-sided win against the Colorado Avalanche tonight by the score of 5-1.