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Coyotes Outlast Sharks 2-1


Dallas Drake scored the game winner. Nikolai Khabibulin's goaltending made it all possible.

Khabibulin came up with two huge third-period saves to force overtime and Drake scored 37 seconds into the extra period Friday night, leading the Phoenix Coyotes past the San Jose Sharks 2-1 to extend their unbeaten streak to an NHL-leading 10 games (8-0-2). Also, Keith Tkachuk stretched his points scoring streak to an NHL-long 10 games.

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  • The last time the Coyotes lost was 2-1 at Dallas Oct. 22.

    "That was a great way to win," said Tkachuk, who assisted on the game winner after earlier scoring his 10th goal of the season. "Right now things are going well for us. You want to keep riding the wave. It's a good feeling."

    The Coyotes also set an NHL post-expansion record by holding an opponent to two goals or less for the 13th consecutive game. Only Ottawa, a 4-1 winner over Phoenix in the season opener, has scored more than two goals against the Coyotes this year.

    San Jose outshot Phoenix 7-2 in the third period and had a chance to settle the game in the final minute when Bernie Nicholls twice got off clean shots only to see Khabibulin, who picked up his 100th career win, smother them.

    "There

    Coyotes victory
    Juha Ylonen's (left) Coyotes trampled the Sharks and teve Shields early in overtime. (AP)
    wasn't much offensive flow either way," said Phoenix coach Jim Schoenfeld. "They had that late flurry but Khabibulin made some big saves for us and that enabled us to get into overtime. Without those key saves in the third period, we don't win."

    Moments into overtime, Tkachuk took the puck down the left side and sent a centering pass to Drake, who knocked the puck past goaltender Steve Shields for the victory.

    "It's definitely frustrating," San Jose defenseman Bryan Marchment said. "You had two talented goaltenders out there and then they get an overtime goal because of a breakdown."

    Nicholls said both he and Joe Murphy went after Tony Granato's dumping pass but didn't get to it in time, leading to Phoenix's game-winning rush.

    Nicholls said when they both went after the puck, they left the middle open for Drake.

    "Tony dumped it out and we chased it," Nicholls said. "One of us obviously should have recognized it and stayed back and probably lock up the goal scorer. We had our chances but the bottom line is you can't get scored against."

    Tkachuk's power-play goal tied it 1-1 at 14:49 of the first.

    Shields stopped a hard shot from Teppo Numminen but couldn't control the rebound, and Tkachuk wacked a sidearm shot into the net as he skated just above the crease.

    San Jose broke through for a shorthanded goal when Marco Sturm converted a 2-on-1 breakaway. Mike Rathje started the rush with a steal and bounced a lead pass off the boards to the streaking Sturm, whose shot from the top of the right circle zoomed past Khabibulin.

    Phoenix's initial goal 2½ minutes into the game was disallowed after officials reviewed it. Jeremy Roenick had flipped a rebound past Shields but during the battle for the puck, Tkachuk skated into the crease to cancel the goal.

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