Coyotes hold off ‘desperate’ Sharks with late empty-net goals 6-3 photo: Arizona Coyotes left wing Taylor Hall (91) scores a goal as Coyotes center Christian Dvorak (18), San Jose Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro (38) and Sharks defenseman Radim Simek (51) look on during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz.

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. — If there’s such a thing as key empty-net goals, the Arizona Coyotes came up with two of them to put away the San Jose Sharks Tuesday.

With the Sharks mounting a late rally, Hunter Garland and Taylor Hall each converted empty-netters to seal a 6-3 victory, as Arizona moved back into first place in the NHL Pacific Division while snapping a three-game losing skid and stopping San Jose’s winning streak at two.

With the Coyotes leading 4-2 in the third period, Evander Kane scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season on the power play to pull the Sharks to within 4-3.

In the final two minutes, Conor Garland and Taylor Hall each popped in empty-net tallies while San Jose was employing a sixth attacker.

“It was just simple plays that got us back in it in the third period,” Hall, who had two goals and an assist, said. “In that third period, we played to our talent really well.”

Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said, “I liked our response against San Jose. They were making a press there in the second. They’re a good team; we were playing a desperate team and I thought we answered the bell when we had to.”

Kessel’s 10th goal of the season for Arizona opened the scoring at 12:03 of the first period. After Derek Stepan dug the puck out along the boards in the neutral zone, he sent a headman pass to Kessel, who fired a wrister from the right circle over San Jose goaltender Aaron Dell’s glove and off the crossbar.

Arizona made it 2-0 on its second power play opportunity. With Stefan Noesen serving a tripping minor, Kessel scored his second goal of the night, taking a centering pass from Christian Dvorak from behind the net and sent a one-timer from the slot past Dell at 5:01 of the second period.

San Jose responded at 6:42 of the second when Kevin Labanc mopped up on Kane’s original shot from just outside the crease, pushing It past Adin Hill, cutting the Arizona lead to 2-1.

Nearly three minutes later, Timo Meier scored the equalizer on his 16th goal of the season. Patrick Marleau threaded the needle on a lead pass to Meier, who slipped a wrist shot past Hill.

“Even in the first period, we played well,” Meier said. “We made some mistakes and gave them some chances. They cashed in on some and in the second period, we came back. We fought back, and in the end, we couldn’t finish it.”

Arizona regained the lead at 17:14 of the second period, when Hall took a rebound and redirected Jordan Oesterle’s original shot from the deep slot for his 11th goal.

Lawson Crouse’s 11th goal of the season put the Coyotes up 4-2 at 8:09 of the third period.

“I thought we were resilient coming back from (being down) 2-0, even at the end on the goalie-pull coming back,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “We didn’t execute well enough tonight. It started on our breakouts. I think we were sloppy going back or making clean exits.

“I thought that we got sloppy a little bit on our penalty kills, and that’s what happens.”

The Sharks’ road trip continues at Colorado on Thursday and Vancouver on Saturday before taking their nine-day break.

“We were sloppy on execution, turning over pucks at the wrong time in the wrong situations,” Boughner said. “Give those guys (Coyotes) credit. They played well. I don’t think that we thought we were ever out of the game.

“We kept pushing, but tonight we just weren’t good enough. It’s one of those games where we’re going to have to make some corrections and come out a little more structured against Colorado.”

SHARK BITES: Arizona’s Taylor Hall recorded his 132nd career multi-point game and his third since joining the Coyotes. … Coyotes RW Phil Kessel recorded his 55th career multi-goal game. … San Jose scratches were Logan Couture (injured), Tim Heed and Joachim Blichfeld. Blichfeld was called up from the AHL Barracuda on Monday. … Coming into the game, the Sharks own the NHL’s best penalty kill, killing off 88.2 percent. San Jose also leads the NHL with least power play goals allowed with 20. … Attendance at Gila River Arena was 14,716.

TAGS: San Jose Sharks,Arizona Coyotes,NHL,Taylor Hall,Phil Kessel,Sports Radio Service

2015 NHL All Star Weekend Recap

By Mary Walsh

Team Black won the Skills Competition, Team White won an All Star Game marked by more goals than ever and two plus hat tricks. Ryan Johansen was the MVP, Alex Ovechkin got a car (but not the one he asked for), the first ever All Star Draft trade took place. It was a busy weekend in Columbus Ohio.

The NHL opened the 2015 All Star Weekend in Columbus by announcing that a World Cup of Hockey will take place in September of 2016. Last held in 2004, the 2016 tournament will include teams from Canada, the USA, Russia, the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden. In addition, two All Star teams will be assembled of players from countries not represented in that group. Future tournaments may be expanded to include qualification rounds to determine which countries will participate. The tournament is expected to last about two weeks and will start on September 17, 2016 at Air Canada Center in Toronto.

The NHL also announced that the 2016 Winter Classic will be held at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, with the Boston Bruins hosting the Montreal Canadiens. Two more outdoor games are scheduled for 2016. The first will be between the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks, on February 21 at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. On February 27, the Colorado Avalanche will host the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.

On Friday, January 23, the All Stars gathered to draft their teams in Columbus Ohio. Alex Ovechkin said that he wanted to be chosen last, because he needed the car. He made this point repeatedly, with hand-written signs held up to the camera and in statements during interviews. His motives could have been guessed at but he kept the secret well enough that his fellow All Stars did not take the hint, and picked him third to last. It was eventually revealed that he wanted to give the car to a program called Nova Cool Cats Special Hockey. Learning this, Honda decided to help him out. Read all about that here.


Team Black captain: Nick Foligno. Alternates: Patrick Kane and Drew Doughty. Coach: Darryl Sutter.

Team Foligno, with the first overall pick,  chose the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Ryan Johansen. It was a wise choice. Johansen went on to win the Breakaway Challenge and the MVP award.

The rest of the team was drafted as follows: 3rd: Duncan Keith (CHI), 5th: Anze Kopitar (LAK), 7th: Steven Stamkos (TBL), 9th: Tyler Seguin (DAL), 11th: Carey Price (MTL), 13th: Claude Giroux (PHI), 15th: Dustin Byfuglien (WPG), 16th: Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT), 17th: Brian Elliott (STL) (replacement for injured Sergei Bobrovsky), 19th: Brent Burns (SJS) (“The second best 88 in the league” per Patrick Kane), 21st: Kevin Shattenkirk (STL), 23rd: Bobby Ryan (OTT), 25th: Radim Vrbata (VAN), 27th: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI), 29th: Zemgus Girgensons (BUF), 31st: Alex Ovechkin (WSH), 34th: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM).

Team White captain: Jonathan Toews. Alternates: Ryan Getzlaf and Rick Nash. Coach: Peter Laviolette.

Team Toews drafted Phil Kessel (TOR) first. Commenting on their choice, Jonathan Toews made reference to Kessel being the last All Star drafted in 2011:

We know that Phil had a tough one a couple of years ago, I think he deserved to be at the top end of the draft this year. And I think, the three of us were just talking, that he’s one of the most coachable players out there so we’re happy to have him on our team.

About half way through the draft, Team Toews traded Kessel for Tyler Seguin. Asked if he saw the trade coming, Seguin said: “You never expect it, you never expect to get traded. It’s tough to swallow right now but I’m really excited. A big opportunity over there with White, so it’ll be fun.”

The rest of Team Toews was drafted as follows: 4th: Shea Weber (NSH), 6th: Jake Voracek (PHI), 8th: Corey Crawford CHI), 10th: John Tavares (NYI), 12th: Roberto Luongo (FLA), 14th: Brent Seabrook (CHI), 16th: Vladimir Tarasenko (STL), 18th: Patrice Bergeron (BOS), 20th: Jaroslav Halak (NYI), 22nd: Aaron Ekblad (FLA). 24th: Patrick Elias (NJD), 26th: Ryan Suter (MIN), 28th: Marc Giordano (CGY), 30th: Justin Faulk (CAR), 32nd: Tyler Johnson (TBL), 34th: Filip Forsberg (NSH)

In a little rule change, both of the last two picks (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Filip Forsberg) received Honda Accords.

On Saturday, the Skills Competition was won by Team Foligno 25-19. Both Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson and Colorado’s Erik Johnson were unable to play due to injury. It appears that Johnson was an unlucky name for All Stars in 2015.

The winner of the NHL Breakaway Challenge, as chosen by fan vote, was Ryan Johansen. Johansen left the puck in the slot, skated back to the bench and brought one of the training staff’s sons out with him to take the shot. A few rounds later, Jakub Voracek did the same thing, but brought out Johnny Gaudreau out instead of a child.

In the accuracy competition, the home team’s Patrick Kane had the fastest time overall.

The highlight of the Skills Relay was Ryan Getzlaf’s turn in the mini-net passing drill. He hit the four targets in five tries. The extra try was a second shot at a net he had already hit.

In the hardest shot competition, Shea Weber’s second shot (his first missed the net) won with 108.5 mph. That is just behind Zdeno Chara’s standing record of 108.8. Ovechkin came in second with 101.4. Brent Burns, shooting against Florida rookie Aaron Ekblad, lost his heat with a 93.3 mph shot. Ekblad’s shot was clocked at 95.3 mph.

In the shootout, Team Foligno won with 25 goals to Team Toews’ 19. Brent Burns scored once and missed once.

The All Star Game itself took place on Sunday. The final score was 17-12 Team Toews. The game set an All Star record with 29 goals scored. During the second period, a new All Star record was set with 11 goals. For every shot on goal, the NHL gave 200 dollars to the Ronald MacDonald House Charities. 92 shots produced a donation of $18,400.

The MVP award went to Ryan Johansen. The prize was a Honda Accord.

The forward lines for Team Toews were Nash-Toews-Vorcek, Tarasenko-Getzlaf-Seguin, Elias-Bergeron-Tavares, Gaudreau-Forsberg. (Tyler Johnson was out with a lower body injury.)

The defense pairs for Team Toews were: Suter-Weber, Faulk-Ekblad, Giordano-Seabrook.

For Team Foligno, the forward lines were Nugent Hopkins-Girgensons-Vrbata, Foligno-Johansen-Ovechkin, Ryan-Kopitar-Stamkos, Kane-Giroux-Kessel.

Team Foligno’s defense pairs were Keith-Doughty, Burns-Shattenkirk, Ekman Larsson-Byfuglien.

Jakub Voracek, Ryan Johansen, Rick Nash, Tyler Seguin, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, Filip Forsberg and John Tavares all had multi-goal games. Tavares was the first to get a hat trick, and he went on to tie the All Star record with four goals. Voracek also had a hat trick.

The Sharks’ Brent Burns had a goal and an assist for Team Foligno.

Roberto Luongo played the first period for Team Toews, Corey Crawford played the second, and Jaroslav Halak played the third. Corey Crawford led Team Toews in saves with 14 on 18 shots.

Carey Price played the first period for Team Foligno, Marc-Andre Fleury played the second, and Brian Elliot played the third. Carey Price led Team Foligno in saves with 12 on 16 shots.

Four players on Team Toews were tied for the team lead in assists with four each: Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Alex Ovechkin led Team Foligno in assists with three.

Entertainment notes: Locksley played The Whip (aka the CBJ goal song) in the pregame show. Fall Out Boy performed during the first intermission, beginning with Light Em Up. The second intermission featured O.A.R. performing Love and Memories and Two Hands Up.