Sharks 4, Coyotes 3 (SO)

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[December 28, 2013]  GLENDALE, Ariz.  Sharks 4, Coyotes 3 (SO): Patrick Marleau scored the decisive goal in the shootout as visiting San Jose posted its third straight victory  all in the bonus format.

Marleau also tallied in regulation while Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns each recorded a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who improved to 2-0-1 against the Coyotes this season. Captain Joe Thornton notched a pair of assists and Antti Niemi turned aside 34 shots as San Jose won for just the second time in seven road games.

David Moss scored twice and Radim Vrbata added a power-play goal for Phoenix, which has gone beyond regulation in each of its last four contests (1-3). Mike Ribeiro recorded two assists and Mike Smith finished with 29 saves as the Coyotes fell to 1-2-3 in their last six games.

Each team scored in the first round and Niemi denied Vrbata on Phoenix's second chance before Marleau fired the puck between Smith's pads. Niemi made the stop on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to seal the victory.

Phoenix took a 1-0 lead at 7:43 of the first period thanks to Matt Nieto's errant pass. Nieto backhanded the puck from the left corner behind a teammate in the left faceoff circle, allowing Moss to make a turnaround shot that beat Niemi to end his seven-game drought.

San Jose pulled even midway through the second as Thornton made a backhand pass from the slot to Pavelski, who buried a shot from the bottom of the left circle. Moss completed his two-goal effort 68 seconds later to put the Coyotes back in front, but Marleau converted a feed from Tommy Wingels while in the slot during a power play with 6:47 left in the session to forge another tie.

Burns gave the Sharks their first lead halfway through the third, taking a pass from Pavelski and beating Smith from the doorstep. Vrbata converted a power-play opportunity 2:25 later to tie it a third time.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Thornton now has collected 824 career assists, putting him one behind Alex Delvecchio for 25th place on the all-time list. He also is 10 points away from tying Bobby Hull (1,170) for 48th in NHL history. ... Smith made a huge glove save midway through overtime on Burns, who came in alone on the goaltender after creating a turnover. ... San Jose participated in its 11th shootout of the season (6-5), tying Washington (8-3) for the league lead. ... Sharks C Logan Couture failed to record a point for the seventh consecutive game.

[ 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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