Photo credit: San Jose Sharks
by M. Walsh
SAN JOSE– Arizona Coyotes goaltender Louis Domingue was the star of the show on Saturday, stopping 31 shots from the Sharks for a preseason shutout in San Jose. Derek Stepan, with linemates Clayton Keller and Max Domi impressed with their two goals, and another two came from Brendan Perlini.
That was disappointing for the home crowd, especially since the Sharks had most of their regular lineup in the game. Conversely, this was the first outing for them as a group this preseason. The Sharks lineup included Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Joel Ward, Tomas Hertl, Chris Tierney, and Melker Karlsson up front. Also playing at forward were Timo Meier, Jannik Hansen, Kevin Labanc, Ryan Carpenter, and Mikkel Boedker. The defense was comprised of Brent Burns, Paul Martin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, Brenden Dillon and Tim Heed. The loss follows another in Anaheim last Thursday, when a very different Sharks lineup was also shutout.
The Coyotes started well against the Sharks on Saturday, maintaining a close shot count and scoring midway through the first. In the second, the visitors earned a powerplay goal while Kevin Labanc sat in the box for a hook. Both goals were scored by Derek Stepan from Clayton Keller and Max Domi.
The Sharks had a couple of good chances early in the game, but Louis Domingue was very sharp from the get go. San Jose failed to score despite back to back power plays that overlapped by 11 seconds in the first period.
A noteworthy incident followed the second goal, when Joonas Donskoi was called for boarding Nick Cousins. He received a five minute major and a game misconduct. The call was not popular with the home crowd. Cousins looked shaken up but did return to the ice before the end of the period.
The Coyotes extended the lead at 2:58 of the third when Brendan Perlini got by Brenden Dillon and then Tim Heed to make it 3-0. An assist went to Adam Clendening. After that third goal, the Coyotes shifted down into defensive mode and took very few shots. After staying within two on the shot clock, Arizona only took four shots. Unfortunetely for the Sharks, that fourth shot went into an empty net for Perlini. Assists went to Dylan Strome and Lawson Crouse.
Apart from taking 13 shots to the Coyotes 4, the Sharks did not make much progress in the third. Ryan Carpenter drew a tripping penalty at 5:37, sending Alex Goligoski to the box. At 9:13, the Sharks had another try at the power play when Nick Cousins was called for interference/slashing against Brenden Dillon.
The Sharks will play their final preseason game in Las Vegas on Sunday, October 1 at 5:00 PM PT, against the Golden Knights.