The Sharks surely knew headed into their Tuesday night meeting with Arizona that the young, rebuilding Coyotes had been struggling mightily lately.
Perhaps that’s why they went to sleep in the second period. Arizona outcompeted and outclassed the Sharks in the middle frame, scoring three times and going on to beat the Sharks at Gila River Arena, 3-2.
San Jose (6-4-0) saw its three-game winning streak come to an end, while the Coyotes (3-6-0) won for just the second time in their last eight.
The Sharks seized a 1-0 lead on a Patrick Marleau goal in the first period, but it quickly evaporated in the middle frame.
First, Brad Richardson was permitted to waltz to the front of the net from the back wall, after Brent Burns and Paul Martin were both caught out of position. Richardson slipped it past Martin Jones at 3:42.
Just one minute and 18 seconds later, Lawson Crouse redirected a Kevin Connauton floater for his first career goal to give Arizona its first lead.
The Sharks had a brief chance to equalize the score shortly after the Crouse goal when Joe Pavelski smacked the crossbar with a shot, but instead it was Arizona increasing its lead when Jamie McGinn’s wrister from high in the zone fluttered past the glove hand of Jones at 11:59.
Louis Domingue, who entered the night with downright horrid numbers in goal, kept it a 3-1 game when he robbed Brenden Dillon with just five seconds to go in the second period.
The Sharks pushed in the third, firing 16 shots on goal, but only managed a Mikkel Boedker marker with 10 seconds left in regulation. San Jose didn’t get another shot after that one.
The Sharks fell to 14-5-3 in their last 22 meetings with Arizona.
Tomas Hertl had a secondary assist on both of San Jose’s goals.
There were no special teams goals in the game, although Boedker’s came with Jones pulled for an extra attacker. Both teams were 0-for-2.
San Jose is 21-for-22 on the penalty kill in its last seven games.
After stopping 70 of 73 shots on the Sharks’ three-game homestand, Jones allowed three goals on 30 Arizona shots. It was his sixth straight start, and he dropped to 5-4 on the season.
Domingue beat the Sharks for the first time in his career against three losses, with 39 saves. He’s 2-5-0 for the year, as regular starter Mike Smith remains out with a left leg injury.
Boedker, who spent seven-and-a-half seasons in Arizona, played his first game as a visitor at Gila River Arena.
Arizona lost center Martin Hanzal in the first period with a lower body injury.
The Sharks host the Flames on Thursday for the first of five meetings. On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins visit SAP Center for the first time since raising the Stanley Cup there last June.