Coyotes get 1-0 shootout win over Sharks
Lauri Korpikoski enjoys shooting competitions with his teammates during and after practices. He did well enough to earn a chance at a game-winning goal.
Korpikoski scored a shootout goal to give the Phoenix Coyotes a 1-0 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.
"It was great," said Korpikoski, who did not attempt a shot during the game. "It's been a while since the last goal I scored. Even though it was in a shootout and doesn't count in the stats, it still felt good."
The goalkeepers - SharksEvgeni Nabokov and Coyotes Ilja Bryzgalov - were the stars of the game, keeping the opposition off the scoreboard when the puck was put on the net.
Nabokov and Bryzgalov each made several remarkable saves to keep the game scoreless. Nabokov made 30 saves while Bryzgalov had 26 saves to send it to the shootout.
Peter Mueller gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead in the shootout and Dan Boyle responded with a goal to set up Korpikoski's game winner.
"He's one of the guys who caught my eyes on the first day," Coyotes' coach Dave Tippett said. "I keep a close watch on those kind of things and he's been very good on the shootout so it was one of those things I played a hunch and he came through for us."
Korpikoski enjoys any chance to take a shootout goal, whether it's in practice or part of a competition with his teammates.
"It's just shooting the puck," he said. "When the goalie stays deep, you just shoot it."
Bryzgalov recorded his second shutout of the season and 10th of his career.
Joe Thornton had two nice shots on goal during overtime, but each time Bryzgalov was up to the task.
"He's really just sound positionally and doing all the little things right," Tippett said. "I like the way he's communicating with the defensemen and getting the puck out. He's doing a great job."
Adrian Aucoin had the best chance for the Coyotes from just inside the blue line, but Nabokov made a nice glove save.
"It's great to have him back there," Sharks' center Scott Nichol said. "You know he's going to make the save. Those guys played a great road game. They didn't give us too much and we didn't do enough to draw penalties."
The Sharks outshot Phoenix 10-7 in the first period but the Coyotes reversed that in the second period with an 11-5 advantage in shots.
It didn't seem to matter how many shots either team took, it was the goalkeeper's game.
"They squeezed us out but we have to create our own chances," Boyle said. "We got a lot of shots blocked and we only had five shots in the second period. We have to find a way to help out and get the puck through."
The defensemen from each side also helped out, as the teams combined for 36 blocked shots. Rob Blake had four and Kent Huskins got in the way of three for the Sharks, while James Vandermeer, Aucoin, Mueller and Daniel Winnick each stopped two for the Coyotes.
NOTES: Sharks C Steve Zalewski made his NHL debut after being recalled earlier in the day. He was credited with a takeaway in the first period. ... Coyotes D Kurt Sauer missed his fourth game with an upper body injury. ... The Coyotes are 0-for-11 on power plays over their last two games. ... The Sharks are 1-for-13 on power plays in their last three games.