Goals come easy as Sharks top Coyotes 8-7 in shootout

Tomas Hertl came out of COVID-19 protocols and delivered twice for the San Jose Sharks in their 8-7 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes on the night of Dec. 28.

Hertl scored his team-leading 15th goal and added a shootout goal for San Jose, which played for the first time since Dec. 16 amid a flurry of pandemic-related postponements and an extended NHL holiday break.

Hertl was asymptomatic after testing positive Dec. 21 and said he felt fine after the wild win.

"It was almost like pond hockey. I don’t know what to say," Hertl said. "We got the two points, but we got lucky. We can’t play like that."

Logan Couture had a goal and an assist and scored in the shootout, and Jeffrey Viel scored his first goal for the Sharks, who had lost five of seven. James Reimer made 39 saves.

Nick Bonino, Radim Simek, Timo Meier and Alexander Barbanov also scored for San Jose.

"We can’t give up that many chances," Couture said. "They scored seven goals against us and you’re not going to win any games like that."

The Coyotes tied it at 7 with 1:29 left in regulation on a power-play goal from Andrew Ladd after coach André Tourigny pulled goalie Scott Wedgewood, who finished with 20 saves.

Lawson Crouse and Janis Moser each scored twice for the Coyotes, who hadn’t played since Dec. 17 and lost for the eighth time in 10 games. Crouse came out of COVID-19 protocol earlier in the day, and Moser’s goals were the first two of his career.

"I’m just glad that I could help the team. Those pucks, or at least one of them, will be at my apartment or maybe I’ll ship it home," Moser said.

Clayton Keller and Shayne Gostisbehere each added a goal for Arizona. Paul Kessel had four assists and Johan Larsson three.

"That’s what happens when you’re not playing for 11 days. If you look at the scores around the league, it’s 5-4, 6-3," Tourigny said. "NHL players, they need to be fine-tuned and in the rhythm. There were a lot of breakdowns on both sides, a lot of turnovers, a lot of stuff like that.

"I liked the way we played. We put a lot of pucks on the net, we were relentless on the forecheck, we generated a lot of offense. Obviously defensively we were not as sharp, one of the areas we need to improve."

Less than a minute into overtime, the Sharks had a power play after Keller was called for hooking Brent Burns on a breakaway, but they failed to convert and finished 0 for 3 on power plays.

"I knew there’d be a little bit of rust. ... The good thing is we found a way to get those two points," Sharks coach Bob Boughner said.

"It’s a little bit of a bad taste in your mouth when you allow seven, but I was pleased with the offense."


Arizona: Forwards Travis Boyd and Matias Maccelli were added to the team’s COVID-19 protocol list. They are among six Coyotes currently on the list, along with forwards Liam O’Brien, Alex Galchenyuk and Christian Fischer and defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin. … F Jay Beagle came out of protocols Tuesday.

San Jose: Burns became the 36th NHL defenseman to play in 1,200 games. He returned from the COVID-19 list Monday. … F Jonathan Dahlen, goalie Adin Hill and a team staffer remain in protocols. … Simek and Viel scored seven seconds apart in the second period, tying a franchise record set Nov. 5, 1992.


Coyotes: Open a five-game homestand Sunday, starting with Dallas.

Sharks: Host Philadelphia on Thursday night.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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