SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) The NHL’s worst team isn’t letting a lousy record get them down.
Alex Goligoski scored in his third straight game to help the Arizona Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Goligoski, who was playing in his 700th career game, also extended his streak of games in which he’s at least one point to five. He has seven points over that stretch. The Coyotes have won three of their last four games and have consecutive wins for just the second time since Nov. 18.
”We’re starting to turn the page here,” Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton said. ”We’re getting a taste for winning and how good it is. We’ve grown as a team. We’re not hanging our hat on moral victories anymore. We’re actually going into games expecting to win.”
Arizona upset a Sharks team scrambling to make the playoffs and in desperate need of a win. San Jose lost for the third time in five games.
The Sharks, coming off consecutive come-from-behind wins against Edmonton and Anaheim, were looking for a season sweep of Arizona.
San Jose had its chances. The Sharks outshot Arizona 41-28 and were 0 for 5 on power plays.
”We got a lot of shots, give credit to their goalies,” Sharks forward Mikkel Boedker said. ”They played hard but yeah, unfortunately we couldn’t bang more than one home.”
The sting of losing to the lowly Coyotes was exacerbated by an injury to forward Tomas Hertl, who left the game in the first period after crashing into the boards on a short-handed scoring chance.
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said he didn’t know Hertl’s injury status. The injury-depleted Sharks, already without center Joe Thornton indefinitely, can’t afford to lose Hertl for long.
”Those are big holes, but it’s that time of year and you don’t have a choice,” DeBoer said. Somebody’s got to step up and get the job done, so we’ll look for some answers tomorrow.”
Goligoski scored his eighth goal on a power play that broke a 1-1 tie at 9:35 of the second period. He fired a slap shot from behind the penalty circle past Sharks goalie Martin Jones, 23 seconds after Logan Couture was called for holding.
”I plan on playing a lot longer than 700 so it’s not really a big deal,” Goligoski said of the milestone. ”I’m fortunate to get to that number.”
The Coyotes took an early lead at 7:58 of the first on Kevin Connauton fifth goal. With a collision in front of the goal, Connauton drove the puck past Jones.
San Jose tied it shortly afterwards as Boeddeker redirected a Justin Braun slapshot from inside the blue line at 9:20 of the first. With his back to the goal, Boeddeker elevated the puck high into the net past Wedgewood’s right shoulder for his eighth goal.
Coyotes: Coyotes goalie Scott Wedgewood left the game early in the third period after a collision with Timo Meier. Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said the inury isn’t serious. Antti Raanta, the regular starter on an off day off after a 37-save game in Monday’s 6-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, finished the game for Arizona. Wedgewood had 29 saves and Raanta had 12.
Sharks: Jannik Hansen was promoted from the fourth to third line, swapping roles with Melker Karlsson. . D Tim Heed and F Brandon Mashinter were called up from the AHL San Jose Barracudas
Coyotes: Open a seven-game homestand on Thursday against Montreal.
Sharks: Play at Vancouver on Thursday.