Arizona Coyotes come into the Tank and put 5 up to beat the San Jose Sharks

Dec 21, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba (24) controls the
Dec 21, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba (24) controls the / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the feel-good factor coming into tonight's game, the San Jose Sharks were unable to overcome the Arizona Coyotes. This ensured the Sharks kept pace with the Blackhawks at the bottom of the standings in the race for the right to draft Macklin Celebrini first overall when the lottery happens in round one. When the team in Teal took to the ice tonight, they looked like the second-best organization all night long. It was a stiff change from the Blues game.

As the game started, the Coyotes would get on the board first on the powerplay. A pass into the slot from Matias Maccelli found Lawson Crouse alone, and the Coyotes forward beat Blackwood from a distance to give the visitors a lead. Following the incredible story of last night, it was not an ideal way to start this game, but the Sharks knew they could come back against this team riding the feel-good factor.

On a powerplay of its own, the Sharks would knot this game up at two. A faceoff win back to Henry Thrun would allow him to pass the puck over to Mikael Granlund. Granlund walked towards the net before returning it to Thrun at the point. Without hesitation, Thrun walked onto one and slapped it home from the point past Connor Ingram and into the back of the Coyotes net, and this game is all tied up once again.

Arizona would regain its lead when Michael Carcone rounded the net before trying to throw it in front. Mackenzie Blackwood was able to respond and get to the first shot before the rebound leaked through. It was loose, and with no whistle, Coyotes gathered, looking for scraps. Liam O'Brien would be the one to find the loose change and deposit it home as the Sharks went back to trailing. San Jose needed to find another goal in this one.

Collin Graf would throw a pass across to Thrun, who would gather it along the boards. Thrun walked in from his deep defensive position, looking for a target in front, but there wasn't one. Thrun kept going until he was almost behind the net when a passing lane to Luke Kunin opened up before him. He found it, and Kunin did the rest to pot it home and get the Sharks back onto equal footing in this game.


Arizona would get their third lead of the night in the final frame when Alex Kerfoot did well to keep a puck in. Mario Ferraro moved forward from his defensive position, leaving the front of the net open for Dylan Guenther to move into. Kerfoot got the pass through perfectly, and Ryan Carpenter could not get back in time to prevent the shot. Blackwood could not stop it, and the third Yotes goal of the night gave them another lead.

Arizona would get the next one, too, essentially killing the game off. Nick Schmaltz walked up the ice and into the offensive zone before dropping the puck back to Clayton Keller. Schmaltz continued towards the net, providing a screen on Keller's shot that went off the post and into the net to give the Desert Dogs a multiple-point game with five minutes to go in the game. San Jose needed to get the next one if they would get anything from this game.

A few scares would come with the net empty as the Sharks were looking to get back into this one, but Nick Schmaltz would hit the empty net to kill this game off with more than three minutes to go. A three-goal lead for the Coyotes ended all hopes of the Sharks winning back-to-back games with the final three. With the game over, the Sharks kept trying, but the offense couldn't break through the Coyotes defense.