Mike Smith was outstanding but the Arizona Coyotes couldn’t survive an overtime penalty kill, falling to the Sharks 2-1.
The Arizona Coyotes snagged a point in San Jose on Tuesday night.
Mike Smith shouldered the load as the Yotes couldn’t find their way to Martin Jones’ end of the rink for most of the contest.
It was Smith’s second straight outing with at least 40 saves.
There was no scoring in the first period from either club, and that was mainly thanks to the aforementioned play of Smith. The Yotes were outshot 13 to 5 in the frame.
The second period looked like it would be a re-run of the first until Max Domi took matters into his own hands.
Another gorgeous feed from Radim Vrbata found Domi all alone and he made no mistake. Coyotes led 1-0.
Roughly eight minutes later, the Sharks got one back.
Alex Goligoski backed off of Chris Tierney as he drove the puck out of the corner and towards the net.
The opening allowed Tierney to stuff the puck five-hole on Mike Smith. Tie game, 1-1 at the end of two.
Arizona came out a little stronger in the third period and managed to get some pucks towards Jones’ net, but were overtaken heavily late in regulation.
A fluke call as time expired put the Coyotes on the penalty kill in overtime. That was all it took for Brent Burns to end it just 19 seconds into the extra frame.
Sharks win 2-1.
Arizona Coyotes Player of the Game
Mike Smith is making this part of the recap easy.
If he keeps playing this way, Arizona’s management will feel much more confident about the remanining years on his contract. It’s too early to tell with Smitty, as he’s prone to being a bit streaky.
What we do know is that for right now, there is no player playing better on the Coyotes roster.
The View From The 200 Level
The San Jose Sharks are really good. The Coyotes? Not so much.
Getting outshot by this team isn’t a shock.
Only generating 19 shots of their own? That is concerning.
Taking precedent over everything, however, is Oliver Ekman-Larsson leaving the game with an upper-body injury on Tuesday night.
Normally OEL bounces back from these things no problem, but if he were to be out for any length of time we should prepare ourselves for the worst.
Whatever issues this team has, they will be exacerbated greatly without OEL patrolling the blue-line. What looks bad now will look even worse without him.
Much worse, if the underlying stats are any indication.
It’s too early to tell what the issue is or whether it’s anything to worry about.
With that said, it’s not too early to remind ourselves how valuable OEL is to this team.
The Arizona Coyotes play Thursday night at home against the Kings.