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Sat, Mar 10, 2012 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Rested Smith helps Coyotes blank Sharks

The Coyotes got a needed win without encountering much resistance from the Sharks
The Coyotes got a needed win without encountering much resistance from the Sharks
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)

All Mike Smith needed was some rest.

After taking a few days off, Smith returned to the Coyotes net and stopped 42 shots in Phoenix's 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks Saturday night.

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Mikkel Boedker and Michael Stone scored second-period goals, and Raffi Torres added his 12th of the season early in the third for the Coyotes, who snapped a five-game losing streak. Phoenix has 78 points and is seventh in the Western Conference.

Smith was held out of the Coyotes' 3-2 shootout loss to Minnesota on Thursday.

''I did not played my best in the last week, and it's a tough time of the year not to play up to your potential,'' Smith said. ''This was a gusty win for the team, and showed why we can be a good hockey team.''

Smith earned his 16th NHL shutout, and the fifth this season. Smith's previous shutout was Feb. 16 against the Kings. Rest and work with goalie coach Sean Burke helped Smith get back to his winning ways.

Antti Niemi made 26 saves for San Jose, which has lost five straight and seven of eight. The Sharks have 75 points, and trail eighth-place Colorado by one point in the West.

''Their goalie was alert and made many strong saves,'' Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. ''Plus, we didn't score and did not give our pitcher any runs. Not getting any goals is a slide, and not winning is a slide.''

The Coyotes broke the scoreless tie late in the second period.

Niemi kicked Stone's shot from the slot, and Boedker connected on the rebound at 13:58. At 18:10, Stone's drive from the right point clanked off the post and went in the net behind Niemi for his first NHL goal.

''I'm somewhat used to scoring, so scoring didn't come as a surprise,'' Stone said. ''I know how it feels to score. On the goal, I gave it a good ride.''

With Calgary of the Western Hockey League, Stone scored 19 goals in the 2008-09 season and 21 the next season.

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''(Stone's) learned from being in minors the last few years,'' Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. ''Up here, you can see his confidence growing.''

Neither team had won any games in March. Phoenix hadn't won since beating Vancouver on Feb. 28. The Sharks are looking for their first win since a 1-0 victory over the Flyers on Feb. 28.

The Coyotes outshot the Sharks 6-1 in the first five minutes. Phoenix had the best chance to score throughout the scoreless first period but captain Shane Doan's breakaway was stopped by Niemi just over 8 minutes in.

The Sharks' current three game road trip has stops remaining in Edmonton and Calgary. San Jose is looking to break out of its slump.

''It seems to be a similar pattern here,'' Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle said. ''We had several grade-A chances, but didn't put the puck away.''

NOTES: Phoenix D Rostislav Klesla returned after missing nine games. ... Sharks forward Joe Thornton has two goals in 15 games. ... Boedker's goal was his second in 32 games. . Phoenix LW Ray Whitney was stopped on a penalty shot with 10:32 to go in the third period.

Tagged: Sharks, Coyotes, Mike Smith, Antti Niemi, Mikkel Boedker, Michael Stone

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