Series (Game 1 of 5)

Arizona leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 30th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 3rd
Game 3: Monday, January 20th
Game 4: Saturday, March 8th
Game 5: Sunday, April 6th

Coyotes 3

(8-12-1, 21 pts)

Sharks 2

(8-12-2, 20 pts)

10:30 PM ET, November 30, 2002

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
ARI 0 2 13
SJ 1 1 02

B. Radivojevic (Coyotes - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

T. Numminen (Coyotes - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

M. Ricci (Sharks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Coyotes earn first victory since Nov. 15

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Once the Phoenix Coyotes finally went ahead, they weren't about to let another game slip away.

Branko Radivojevic scored the tie-breaking goal midway through the third period and the Phoenix Coyotes snapped a six-game winless streak with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

Radivojevic stole Jeff Jillson's errant pass and skated down the right side. He waited for goalie Evgeni Nabokov to fall to his knees before scoring an unassisted goal at 10:04.

''It kicked off Scott Thornton's skate and it landed right by my stick,'' Radivojevic said. ''I skated down the ice, and, as I came into to the goal area, I saw that Nabokov was going down which surprised me. I just went around him and got it in.''

It was the Coyotes' first victory since Nov. 15 when they beat Atlanta. They are 1-2-4 since.

''Suddenly, we had the lead which we hadn't had in about six and half hours of hockey,'' coach Bob Francis said. ''We weren't going to be denied this win. The team killed their last charge and we got it. This was a big game for us. The Sharks are just as hungry as we are.''

San Jose played its first home game in 14 days after an eight-game road trip.

''We couldn't keep any energy going,'' Jillson said. ''The bad pass is just the way it's going right now. We have to get our game back. Maybe this homestand will help.''

Phoenix goalie Brian Boucher credited the team's penalty killing in the first as motivation.

''Once we got out of the first just trailing 1-0. We felt we had a chance,'' he said. ''It really came down to fending off their final barrage after Branko scored the go-ahead goal.''

Deron Quint tied it 2-2 when he skated down the right side during a three-on-two rush at 3:51 of the second. The defenseman flipped the puck in from the right circle for his fourth goal.

Scott Thornton gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 8:32 of the second when he took a pass from Mike Ricci and fired a one-timer past Boucher.

Tony Amonte tied it at 1 at 6:07 of the second period with his sixth goal of the season. The goal, scored 17 seconds into a power play, was a wrist shot that got past Nabokov's outstretched glove.

The Sharks used a two-man advantage to open the scoring in the first period when Vincent Damphousse tapped in the puck from the left side at 5:54.

Owen Nolan left the ice briefly after being cut on his forehead when he crashed into the glass behind the Phoenix net. Nolan returned to the ice at the beginning of the second period but went off again in the third for precautionary reasons. He was still woozy from the gash that required roughly 10 stitches to close after the game.

Game notes

Phoenix is only one of three NHL teams that have not given up a short-handed goal. ... The Sharks went 3-4-1 on their last road trip. ... Amonte played his 435th consecutive game, the longest current streak in the NHL. ... Nolan needs one more game to reach 800 for his career. ... Phoenix's Teppo Numminen's assist in the first period was his first point since Oct. 17. ... Todd Simpson of the Coyotes served the second game of his three-game suspension for high-sticking.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press