SAN JOSE – Phoenix jumped on the San Jose Sharks for two goals in the first period on the way to a 3-0 victory Saturday at sold-out HP Pavilion.
The loss left the Sharks (19 points) in a six-team tie for fourth place in the bunched Western Conference standings.
San Jose completes a six-game homestand Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
Phoenix came into Saturday’s contest with a 4-1-2 mark in its previous seven games. While Coyote goaltender Mike Smith saved all seven shots the Sharks fired at him in the opening period, the visitors pushed across two goals in the first period to carry a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Radim Vrbata joined ex-Shark Ray Whitney atop the Coyote goal-scoring list with his sixth of the year 14:21 into the game.
Whitney’s shot from the high slot flew to the right of the San Jose net before rebounding off the endboards near the right post. Vrbata, with position against Shark defenseman Justin Braun at the edge of the crease, quickly pulled the puck behind goaltender Thomas Greiss for a 1-0 Coyote advantage.
San Jose was able to kill off a Logan Couture penalty late in the period, only to have the Coyotes strike for a second goal within one minute after both teams were at full strength.
Phoenix turned a 3-on-2 rush into a 2-0 lead with 31.8 seconds left in the period. Raffi Torres, controlling the puck on the left wing, dished the puck to Boyd Gordon at the high slot. The centerman split two defenders and wristed a shot toward the left post that Greiss partially stopped before the puck finally settled in the net.
After a scoreless second period, the Coyotes put the game away with a goal 12:55 into the third.
A San Jose turnover just inside the Shark zone resulted in two Coyotes behind the defense. Adrian Aucoin’s pass to the goal line left Kyle Chipchura with the puck to the right of the net with Patrick O’Sullivan waiting in the low slot. Chipchura’s low feed allowed O’Sullivan to fire the puck past an outmanned Greiss for his second goal of the season.
San Jose managed 31 shots at Smith, who earned his 12th career shut-out. The Sharks were blanked by the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 in the second game of the season, also wasting 31 shots.