Sharks blow lead but top Coyotes in shootout

15 Jan 2021 / 13:10 H.

    Logan Couture's backhand shot beat Darcy Kuemper in a shootout, lifting the San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday at Glendale, Ariz., in the season opener for both clubs.

    Tomas Hertl produced two goals and an assist for the Sharks, and teammate Evander Kane had a goal and two assists. John Leonard added two assists in his NHL debut, and San Jose goalie Martin Jones made 34 saves.

    Conor Garland and Clayton Keller each had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, and Phil Kessel scored once. Darcy Kuemper stopped 32 shots.

    In the shootout, Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz and Sharks center Ryan Donato were each successful. Garland took his turn but failed to beat Jones, and Couture responded with a goal for the Sharks.

    Keller couldn't get his opportunity past Jones, giving San Jose the win.

    The Coyotes sent the game into overtime with a late tally. Arizona pulled Kuemper from the net with two minutes left, and in a mad scramble in Jones' crease with 3.2 seconds on the clock, Kessel scored the tying goal.

    Hertl opened the scoring 12:43 into the first period. With Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson in the penalty box for hooking, the Sharks worked the puck down low. Hertl picked up a rebound off an Evander Kane shot and banged the puck past Kuemper.

    Hertl logged his second goal just four minutes later. Linemates Kane and Leonard cycled the puck off the boards and got it out in front to a waiting Hertl.

    The Coyotes halved the deficit in the second period. On the power play, Garland took a hot pass from Christian Dvorak and fired a shot from the faceoff circle that beat Jones.

    Kane padded the lead to 3-1 at 11:24 of the third. The 29-year-old winger scooped up the puck in the neutral zone and skated around Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun to face Kuemper alone.

    Kane showed great patience, playing the puck until he forced Kuemper to make a move and then lifting it over the sprawling goaltender.

    The Coyotes cut the lead back to one at 16:30. Garland dipsy-doodled his way through the Sharks defense then pushed the puck back to Keller, who was open in the slot.

    --Field Level Media

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