HOCKEY: San Jose strikes for six goals in season-opening win over Phoenix

San Jose Sharks

– Four goals in the second period lifted the San Jose Sharks
past the Phoenix Coyotes 6-3 Saturday night at sold-out HP Pavilion
in the season opener for both clubs.
SAN JOSE – Four goals in the second period lifted the San Jose Sharks past the Phoenix Coyotes 6-3 on Saturday night at sold-out HP Pavilion in the season opener for both clubs.

Andrew Dejardins scored twice in the second period and Joe Pavelski netted his second power play of the game as the Sharks went into the second intermission with a 6-1 lead.

“Overall, it was a good start,” said San Jose captain Joe Thornton. “A good first game.”

After turning a 19-4 edge in shots in the first period for a 2-0 lead, San Jose moved to 3-0 on a Ryane Clowe goal 7:33 into the second period. Logan Couture found Clowe open with a pass in the left circle of the Coyote zone. Clowe skated across the slot and pulled a shot into the right top corner of the net. Tommy Wingels recorded his first NHL point with an assist.

One minute later, the Sharks went up 4-0. Fourth-line center Desjardins chipped the puck away from Phoenix winger Lauri Korpikoski outside the Phoenix blueline. Desjardins kept his momentum, entered the Coyote zone, split the two defensemen and slapped a shot across the blue ice and inside the right post for his second NHL goal.

Phoenix was able to stop San Jose goaltender Thomas Greiss’ bid for his first NHL shut-out with a power-play goal from captain Shane Doan at 12:16.

Pavelski redirected Dan Boyle’s low blast from the blueline to beat Coyote netminder Mike Smith during a power play. Marleau recorded his second assist of the game on the goal at 16:54.

Desjardins provided a strong individual effort to give San Jose the 6-1 lead. Coyote Martin Hanzal checked Desjardins, with the puck, off his skates into the left corner of the Phoenix zone. Desjardins was able to get to his skates, control the puck, avoid Hanzal and whip a shot toward the left post that sent the puck skimming off Smith and inside the net at 18:42. Newcomer Brad Winchester assisted on the scoring play.

Phoenix completed the scoring with a pair of power play goals in the final period. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored from the right point at 4:56 and Doan added his second goal of the night from the left circle at 10:25.

“We’ll take the good things out of this game,” Pavelski said, noting that the team does not play again for six days. The Sharks visit Anaheim Friday night, then host the St. Louis Blues Saturday night.

San Jose defenseman Brent Burns made an immediate impact by keying a power play goal 14 seconds after Coyote Taylor Pyatt was penalized for high-sticking.

When Pavelski won the face-off, Burns dashed to the left hash marks outside the left circle. Burns stopped a potential Coyote clear, tapping the puck along the boards to Patrick Marleau. Pavelski moved to the front of the crease as Marleau guided the puck between defenseman Derek Morris’ skates to Pavelski for the stuff shot inside the right post at 4:01 of the first period.

Morris was sent to the penalty box for holding Michal Handzus at 6:10 of the first period. San Jose did not put a shot on net during the two-minute power play, but struck for a goal 13 seconds after Morris exited the box.

As defenseman Jason Demers blistered a shot from the right point, Handzus skated behind the Coyote goal. Torrey Mitchell collected the puck and dished to Handzus. The new Shark cruised around the right post for a wrap-around shot. The puck bounded off the stick of goaltender Mike Smith, only to be redirected by the skate of Ekman-Larsson under Smith’s left pad for the 2-0 San Jose cushion at 8:23.

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