San Jose Sharks build big lead, hold on to defeat the Arizona Coyotes

Apr 26, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski (33 and San Jose Sharks center Noah Gregor (73) battle for the puck behind the net during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Barabanov scored his first NHL goal as the San Jose Sharks held on after nearly losing a four-goal lead to defeat the visiting Arizona Coyotes 6-4 and snap an eight-game losing streak.

Evander Kane had a goal and two assists, and Noah Gregor, Brent Burns, Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson also scored for the Sharks (19-24-5, 43 points). Josef Korenar made 21 saves.

Jakub Chychrun scored twice, Michael Bunting had a goal and an assist and Clayton Keller also scored for the Coyotes (21-23-5, 47 points). Darcy Kuemper allowed four goals on 11 shots before being removed in the second period. Adin Hill made 21 saves in relief.

Gregor put the Sharks on the board 1-0 just 17 seconds into the game with a shot up close that banked off of Kuemper’s skate. Burns added to the lead at 3:07 with a shot from the blue line that eluded Kuemper and made it 2-0.

The Coyotes made a push late in the period, but Korenar kept them off the board.

Couture found the back of the net 1:54 into the second period by cleaning up a rebound in front of Kuemper to make it 3-0. Karlsson scored with a cross-ice shot from the blue line to put San Jose up 4-0 at 3:19 in the second and spell the end of Kuemper’s night.

Bunting put the Coyotes on the board 4-1 shortly after the goalie change. Keller redirected a pass from Nick Schmaltz at 10:05 to further cut into San Jose’s lead, 4-2.

Chychrun made things interesting when his wrist shot eluded Korenar up high and made the score 4-3.

Arizona continued to pressure San Jose, but Barabanov shoveled up a loose puck in front of Hill and scored 11:17 into the third.

Chychrun scored his second of the game with 4:44 left in regulation to again make it a one-goal margin, 5-4.

The Coyotes pulled Hill late to try to tie the game, but the Sharks capitalized when Kane scored into an empty net with nine seconds left.

–Field Level Media