PHOENIX (AP) -- In a desperate situation, the Phoenix Coyotes
played with desperate abandon. For a change, it worked.
"We grabbed some air tonight," Doan said. "We were sinking,
and it was nice to get that win, because we needed it."
With 15 games left, the Coyotes closed within eight points of
idle Edmonton, the eighth-place Western Conference team.
It was their first victory in which an opponent has scored four
goals (1-9-1-2). Phoenix gave up three goals in the first period of
a 6-3 loss at St. Louis on Thursday and again two days later.
"We haven't had very good starts in our last four games,"
coach Bob Francis said. "We've been taking too many penalties.
Those were the two common denominators when we were struggling
early in the year, and we wanted to correct that. Obviously, we
haven't learned our lesson."
Sean Burke, who sat out the previous game because of the flu,
had 16 saves.
Burke gave up three goals on San Jose's first six shots, but
then stopped 13 straight shots before Niko Dimitrakos tightened the
game with his second goal of the game on a six-on-four San Jose
advantage with 1:17 remaining.
But Vaananen scored an empty-net goal with 22.4 seconds left to
secure the win.
"If you jump out to a 3-0 lead on the road, you expect to get
at least a point out of it," San Jose right wing Todd Harvey said.
After the game, the Sharks traded defenseman Bryan Marchment to
Colorado for two draft picks. The Avalanche sent their selections
in the third and fifth round of the next draft to the Sharks for
the hard-hitting Marchment.
The Sharks got two power-play goals out of one Phoenix penalty
in the first period.
Phoenix's Andrei Nazarov received a match penalty for attempting
to injure when he elbowed defenseman Dan McGillis in the jaw while
overtaking McGillis with 9:40 left in the period. McGillis was
knocked out for a few seconds, returned to action later and then
was taken out in the second period as a precaution.
The sucker punch nearly changed the outcome -- Phoenix had
outshot the Sharks 7-0 until then, but was outshot 7-2 the rest of
Dimitrakos scored on a rebound 23 seconds into the five-minute
advantage and Ricci made it 2-0 after a 2:50 scoring lull when he
fired a slap shot from the left point that hit the post and banked
in with 6:27 left in the period.
The Coyotes killed the remaining time, but Cheechoo scored at
even strength with 3:53 left in the first, lifting the puck over
Burke's right shoulder as the goalie flopped.
Nagy beat Evgeni Nabokov with a low wrist shot 6:45 into the
second, and the Coyotes scored three more times in the final 2:09
of the period.
Doan's slap shot from the circle cut the deficit to one and
snapped the Sharks' franchise record of 45 straight enemy power
plays killed -- a run that dated back to the second period at
Detroit on Feb. 10.
Radivojevic batted a rebound in with 55 seconds to go, and
Savage carried the puck down the left side and wristed it in on the
short side just 29 seconds later.
"We had a bad three minutes, and it cost us the hockey game,"
Sharks coach Ron Wilson said.
Nagy scored an elegant goal -- his 17th of the season -- 3:21 into
the third. Mike Johnson got the puck in a scrum along the boards
and fired an off-balance pass to Nagy in the slot.
Nagy lost the puck under pressure from defenseman Scott Hannan,
but found it again after doing a full spin and swept it past the
surprised Nabokov, who had 25 saves.
Phoenix LW Paul Ranheim, who played in his 1,000th game
Thursday, received commemorative gifts before the game. ... Ricci
returned to action after missing two games with a back injury. ...
Phoenix is 3-1 against the Sharks this season and got a point out
of its 3-2 overtime loss to San Jose on Dec. 3.