San Jose
Sharks
44-27-11
Phoenix
Coyotes
38-39-5

26 SOG
25 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
SJS
PHX
game recap

Sharks 3, Coyotes 2

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 11:20 PM

Associated Press

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Sharks 3, Coyotes 2
San Jose Sharks 3, Phoenix Coyotes 2

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - When the San Jose Sharks needed a lift, Jonathan Cheechoo and Joe Thornton provided it. Twice.

Cheechoo scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season 44 seconds apart, with Thornton assisting on both, to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

"That shift was the only good shift we had all night but it saves two points for us," Thornton said. "It was a tough night, but I'm glad we got the two points."

Nils Ekman also scored for the Sharks, who beat the Coyotes for the first time this season (1-6-1).

San Jose moved one point ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and two points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers into sixth place in the Western Conference standings. The Oilers have three games to play, the Avalanche and Sharks four each.

"We feel good about where we are from the last few months let alone the last few weeks," Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan said. "We knew it was going to come down to the end of the season. We're right where we wanted to be."

Mike Comrie and Steven Reinprecht scored for the Coyotes, who have lost four straight.

Cheechoo became the first San Jose player to score 50 goals when he beat David LeNeveu from the low slot and gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 11:47 of the second period.

He made it 3-0 at 12:31, corralling a rebound near the goal line to LeNeveu's right and bouncing the puck off the goalie's back for his 51st.

"There was still an angle there," Cheechoo said. "I knew he was paying attention to the other side of the net. Joe made a great pass and I basically just tried to get it on net and get it up a bit where he'd have trouble controlling it."

Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers leads the NHL with 53 goals. Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk is tied for second with Cheechoo.

"I've had four guys do it and they all go for it," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "They all go to the net hard and live for the red light to go on. That's what they all have in common."

The Sharks were on their second two-man advantage of the game after Jamie Rivers' hooking penalty and Keith Ballard's delay of game infraction 33 seconds apart.

"Their power play was good when it had to be good and they capitalized when they had to and did it," said Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, who holds the NHL record with 92 goals in a season.

Cheechoo has scored 44 of his goals since Thornton was acquired from the Boston Bruins on Dec. 1, with Thornton assisting on 34.

Thornton also provided an unrecorded assist, recovering the puck after Cheechoo's milestone goal.

"He dove into the net for it," Cheechoo said. "It was pretty cool. We've just seemed to connect since he's gotten here. It was nice for him to get an assist on it, too."

Reinprecht pulled the Coyotes within 3-2 with 8:10 remaining when Sharks goalie Vesa Toskala stopped the initial shot only to sweep the puck into his own net with the end of his stick.

Ekman gave San Jose a 1-0 lead at 9:05 of the first period when LeNeveu made a diving save of a shot by Cheechoo but couldn't control the rebound. Matt Carle gained the puck to the right of the net and passed across the crease to Ekman, who fired into the open left side.

Comrie tied it 1-1 at 10:15 of the second period off a long rebound in the low slot.

"We battled hard and got some pucks on net but we just didn't get enough pucks and enough opportunities," Comrie said.

Notes: Cheechoo and Patrick Marleau each set the franchise single-season points mark at 85 on Cheechoo's second goal. Cheechoo entered the game with 82 points, Marleau with 84. ... Even with the loss, the Coyotes finished with their most victories against a single opponent since posting an 8-0-1 mark against Edmonton in 1992-93.

scoring summary
1st Period
09:05
SJS
Nisse Ekman (18) Wrist shot - ASST: Matthew Carle (2), Jonathan Cheechoo (34)
1 - 0 SJS
2nd Period
10:15
PHX
Mike Comrie (29) Backhand shot - ASST: Geoff Sanderson (20), Paul Mara (31)
1 - 1 Tie
11:47
SJS
PPG - Jonathan Cheechoo (50) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Thornton (86), Tom Preissing (28)
2 - 1 SJS
12:31
SJS
PPG - Jonathan Cheechoo (51) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Thornton (87), Patrick Marleau (51)
3 - 1 SJS
3rd Period
11:50
PHX
Steve Reinprecht (22) Wrist shot - ASST: Fredrik Sjostrom (16), Keith Ballard (31)
3 - 2 SJS
penalty summary
1st Period
06:59
PHX
Jamie Rivers  Hooking
06:59
PHX
Zbynek Michalek  Hooking against  Jonathan Cheechoo
09:52
PHX
Jamie Rivers  Elbowing against  Marcel Goc
10:06
SJS
Kyle McLaren  Holding against  Shane Doan
14:27
SJS
Kyle McLaren  Holding against  Shane Doan
2nd Period
04:35
SJS
Marcel Goc  Interference against  Mike Comrie
10:59
PHX
Jamie Rivers  Hooking against  Milan Michalek
11:32
PHX
Keith Ballard  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
3rd Period
01:31
PHX
Joel Perrault  Holding against  Ville Nieminen
03:48
PHX
Oleg Saprykin  Hooking
12:15
SJS
Scott Thornton  Hooking
18:36
SJS
Christian Ehrhoff  Holding against  Geoff Sanderson
goalie stats
Vesa Toskala
SA: 25TOI: 59:35
Saves: 23EV: 16 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .920SH: 0 - 0
David Leneveu
David Leneveu
SA: 26TOI: 58:50
Saves: 23EV: 15 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 10
SV%: .885SH: 0 - 0