Martin Jones has put on admirable performances in front of the Sharks' net as of late, but his efforts Friday night against the Arizona Coyotes fell short as the Sharks stumbled to a 5-2 loss at Gila River Arena.
In Jones' defense, he didn't get much help. Jones was solid for the first two periods, stopping 20 of 22 shots, but a chaotic final stanza, in which the Coyotes scored three goals over a little over two minutes, ultimately sunk San Jose's aspirations of winning three straight contests.
The Sharks' sputtered offensively, with Tomas Hertl scoring the only San Jose goal in the first two periods -- a short-handed breakaway less than two minutes into the second period to knot the game at one apiece. Patrick Marleau would tack on his second goal of the season with 7:30 remaining in the third period, but it was too little, too late.
"Jones was fine," coach Bob Boughner said to reporters in a video conference after the loss. "He didn't have a lot of support around him. We let guys stand in front of our net, we weren't physical enough. ... I thought we made things easy on them the whole game."
Prior to Friday's contest, Jones was coming off his second consecutive start with 40-plus saves. He also had strung together some quality starts over his last week of play. In the four games leading up to Friday's loss, Jones had notched a combined save percentage of .966.
The netminder will need some help from his fellow teammates if he wants to keep up that mark. Friday served as the fifth straight game where the Sharks did not score more than two goals. San Jose will hope that changes Saturday for the second and final matchup of the series against Arizona.
"We just didn't have it as a team tonight," Boughner said. "We made too many mistakes, too many mental errors. Looked like there was maybe some fatigue in our game, our legs weren't great. We have to find a way to regroup here tomorrow."