Sharks can't keep up with Phil Kessel, Coyotes in 5-3 loss

Curtis Pashelka, Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

The San Jose Sharks couldn't keep up with Phil Kessel and the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday afternoon at Gila River Arena.

The Sharks allowed two goals by Kessel, including one at the 5:13 mark of the second period, in a 5-3 road loss to the Coyotes as the two teams split their season-opening, two-game series.

Timo Meier had a goal and two assists and Ryan Donato scored his first goal in a San Jose uniform, but goalie Martin Jones, who shined in the Sharks' shootout win Thursday, allowed five goals on the Coyotes' first 22 shots.

Meier tied the game 2-2 at the 15:27 mark of the first period, as his pass attempt to Kevin Labanc in the slot went off Jakob Chychrun's skate and floated past Antti Raanta. But the Coyotes scored the next three goals, with Kessel's goal giving his team a 3-2 lead.

Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks with 51 seconds left in the third period for his third goal of the season. He scored twice in the Sharks' 4-3 victory over the Coyotes (1-0-1) on Thursday.

"I thought we played better structure and better as a team today than we did in the first game," Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. "We were looking for that timely goal. I think it took a little wind (out of) the sails, their third goal. But structurally and detail-wise, I thought we were better. We spent a lot more time in their end in the (offensive) zone."

The Sharks (1-1-0) will stay in the Phoenix area overnight and practice Sunday morning before they leave for St. Louis, where they'll play the Blues on Monday and Wednesday night.

Barrett Hayton, Jakob Chychrun and Clayton Keller also scored for Arizona. Both Chychrun and Keller's goals came right after Coyotes faceoff wins, as the Sharks were dismantled in the faceoff circle, winning just nine of 32 draws after 40 minutes. Arizona won 28 of 47 draws for the game.


"That's something we've got to get way better at," Boughner said.

Keller's goal came at the 2:39 mark of the third period and gave Arizona a 5-2 lead. Jones was replaced by Devan Dubnyk with 13:22 left in regulation time, as the former Minnesota Wild goalie made his Sharks debut and could play again Monday against the Blues. Jones, who had 34 saves Thursday, had 19 saves Saturday before he was pulled.

Donato, Dubnyk's teammate with the Wild for close to two seasons, scored his first goal of the season at the 3:34 mark of the first period, tipping a Meier wrist shot from inside the blue line past Raanta. It was Donato's first power play goal in 96 games, with his last one coming against the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 23, 2018 when he was with the Boston Bruins.

"I just did what I was supposed to do, stand in front of the net and create some traffic, and Timo put a great shot," Donato. "Maybe just one that he whiffed on the first one, but after that he got one right to the net. Put it in the wheelhouse for me to tip, and I was lucky to get a piece of it."

With no preseason games to help get ready, Boughner said he was simply looking to get Dubnyk some work.

"As soon as (Jones) came off, I said (to him) this is strictly to give (Dubnyk) some ice time," Boughner said. "We're going to need both goalies on the road here, I just wanted him to see some real action."

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