GLENDALE, Ariz. – Martin Hanzal picked the right time for the Phoenix Coyotes to end his goal-scoring drought.
Scoring his seventh of the season and first since Jan 30., Hanzal connected on a wrist shot with 1:37 left in overtime to give the Coyotes a 5-4 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. “I got lucky and hit the perfect spot,” he said. “It’s amazing when you score a goal, and I love it.”
The Sharks’ defeat spoiled Joe Thornton’s hat trick, who also added an assist for his second four-point game of the season. The other came against Montreal on March 4.
The Phoenix win cooled off the Sharks, who lost for only the second time in their past 16 games. The loss to Phoenix was the first time San Jose lost in overtime since a 3-2 defeat at New Jersey Feb. 20.
“We had 14 good ones in a row, and I guess we had a bad one (against Phoenix),” Thornton said. “It shows we’re only human.”
The Coyotes ended a five-game losing skid and won for only the 17th time in 40 home games.
In their quest for a playoff spot, the Coyotes held leads in critical March games, but could not finish opponents. Against San Jose, they were able to defeat a playoff-bound team.
“We’ve had some leads in the few games and let them slip away,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. “This time, we found a way to take care of the win, and that’s all that mattered.”
After a tight-checking opening two periods, the teams combined for five goals within 2:38 of the third period. The NHL record for the five fastest goals among both teams is 1:24, Chicago at Toronto, Oct. 15, 1983.
In that span, Doan picked up a short-handed goal, while Thornton and Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored a power-play goal within 28 seconds for San Jose.
Phoenix opened the scoring when defenceman Derek Morris took a pass from Daniel Winnik and picked up his eighth goal of the season at 8:25 of the second period.
Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov kept it 1-0 as he stopped Daniel Carcillo on a breakaway with 5 minutes left in the second period.
The Coyotes increased their lead to 2-0 as Enver Lisen scored his third goal of the season. He dug the puck out of the right corner, skated toward the crease and flipped the puck under the cross bar to beat Nabokov at 18:49 of the middle period.
After Steve Reinprecht scored to put Phoenix up 4-2 in the second period, Wilson pulled Nabokov for Brian Boucher.
Because of a four-day layoff, Wilson knew his team was not sharp.
“Not a very good night for us,” Wilson said. “We hung in there, and fortunately, we picked up a point. We were caught running around too much, and we did not pursue the puck very well.”
Notes: Sharks’ Jonathan Cheechoo was scratched due to soreness in his neck. He collided with the Ducks’ Chris Kunitz on Friday and is listed day to day. … Phoenix defenceman Ed Jovanovski suffered a lacerated calf (seven stitches) in the first period and did not return. … Winnik’s two-point game was his second multipoint effort of the season. … Phoenix plays four of its final five games on the road.