Ekman-Larsson’s late goal leads Coyotes past Sharks, 3-2
SAN JOSE,Calif. (AP) — One day after being acquired in a trade, Taylor Hall arrived just in time to give his new teammates a lift in a key moment.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period off an assist from Hall, and the Arizona Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Ekman-Larson’s shot from the heart of the left circle went wide right of the goal but ricocheted off Sharks defenseman Brendan Dillon’s shin pad and in with 2:37 left in regulation.
“It was just a forecheck play trying to win a 1-on-1 battle,” Hall said. “It's late in the game and you are trying to win possession of the puck. You are trying to make more of a safe play than a risky one. I got it in there and won a battle. It wasn't the prettiest scheme for us and we came up big.”
Carl Soderberg and Derek Stepan also scored for the Coyotes, who improved to 12-4-3 on the road. They’ve won five of their last eight overall. Darcy Kuemper had 26 saves.
The Coyotes acquired Hall along with forward Blake Speers in a trade with the New Jersey Devils on Monday.
“We got Hall because of that last goal,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “He muscled his way through, wins a big 1-on-1 battle and that is a big play for us. ... He had maybe four hours of sleep, travels cross country and he hasn't played in about a week. Not bad for that situation. If he plays like that for not having much sleep imagine what he can do with some real rest.”
Tomas Hertl scored twice for the Sharks, who are 1-6-1 over their last eight games after winning 11 of their previous 13. Aaron Dell finished with 16 saves.
The Sharks failed to capitalize on a 6-on-3 in the final minute after they pulled Dell and penalties to Arizona's Ilya Lyubushkin (playing without a helmet) and Brad Richardson (cross checking).
The Sharks were 0 for 3 on the power play. They’re 1 for 36 in that department over their last 15 games.
San Jose trailed 2-1 until Hertl scored his second of the game and fourth in the last three with just over six minutes left in the second. He has 14 on the season.
Soderberg scored his 10th on a backhander from 10 feet out to give the Coyotes an early 1-0 lead in the first.
Hertl tied it on a wrist shot off a perfect backhanded pass from Erik Karlsson, who got his 23rd assist on the play.
Stepan's sixth on a slap shot from short range gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead midway through the second.
“We’ve got to get a little dirtier in front of the net and create our own bounces off some legs and off some shin pads,” Sharks interim coach Bob Boughner said.
“We’re getting one chance but we’re not getting that second and third and sticking around, so we’ve got to I think be a little harder in front of the other team’s net.”
NOTES:. ... Coyotes G Adin Hill was recalled to replace Antti Raanta (illness) for the Coyotes. ... Sharks C Antti Suomela was in the lineup after missing eight games with an undisclosed injury. He hadn’t played since taking a high hit in a game against Los Angeles on Nov. 29. ... San Jose D Radim Simek (knee) will practice later this week and could come off the injured reserve before the end of the year. … F Joachim Blichfeld was reassigned to San Jose of the AHL. … Hertl has five points in five games. … F Kevin Labanc didn’t play in the third period after suffering an unspecified injury after a hard hit into the boards in the first. D Mario Ferraro is day-to-day with an upper body injury.
Coyotes: Host Minnesota on Thursday night.
Sharks: Host St. Louis on Saturday night.