San Jose scored three first-period goals and Josef Korenar made 28 saves as the Sharks held on to defeat the visiting Arizona Coyotes 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Evander Kane, Rudolfs Balcers and Kevin Labanc scored early for San Jose, and Tomas Hertl added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Phil Kessel and Johan Larsson were the goal-scorers for the Coyotes. Darcy Kuemper, who was taken out of the Coyotes’ 6-4 loss at San Jose on Monday, made 27 saves on Wednesday.
The Sharks (20-24-5, 45 points) leveled the season series with the Coyotes (21-24-5, 47 points) at three wins apiece. The teams will conclude the regular season with a pair of matchups at San Jose on May 7 and May 8.
Fifth-place Arizona is three points back of the fourth-place St. Louis Blues in the race for the West Division’s final playoff berth. San Jose is five points back of St. Louis.
Alexander Barabanov set Kane up to score his 20th goal of the season and put the Sharks on top 1-0 at 1:12 of the opening frame.
Balcers doubled the lead at 10:06 as he caught a burst of speed from the blue line and backhanded the puck in behind Kuemper’s skate.
Labanc made it 3-0 at the 14:08 mark as Kuemper was caught out of position after San Jose center Alexander True set up the play.
Kessel put Arizona on the board during a delayed penalty on San Jose the when he redirected a shot from Nick Schmaltz to make it 3-1 at 15:47 of the first period. The Sharks took the two-goal lead into the first intermission despite being outshot by the Coyotes 13-8.
Larsson pulled the Coyotes within a goal at 4:40 of the second period when he knocked on a loose puck in front of an open net. Both teams got opportunities on the power play later in the period, but neither side could convert.
San Jose couldn’t convert on a two-man advantage in the middle of the third period, and the game ended in the four-on-four after penalties on both teams. Arizona pulled Kuemper for an extra skater, leaving the door open for Hertl to bury the empty-net goal with 37 seconds left.
–Field Level Media