SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)Nick Bonino scored for the fourth straight game, James Reimer won in his return from injury and the San Jose Sharks beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Tomas Hertl and Bonino scored in a span of 1:02 early in the first period to set the tone and help the Sharks win for only the third time in 10 games.
”I think we’ve deserved more than we’ve had this year,” Bonino said. ”They hung on a little bit at the end and they kept coming and coming. But it’s nice to get the win and it’s nice to contribute.”
Nico Sturm added a goal in the second period as San Jose earned just its third victory in 15 games at the Shark Tank this season.
Reimer returned from a lower-body injury that had sidelined him since Nov. 25 and made 19 saves.
”It felt good,” Reimer said. ”Obviously when you haven’t played in a while, sometimes the game feels fast. Sometimes you’re trying to break in a bit. But I felt pretty good.”
Lawson Crouse and Nick Bjugstad scored for the Coyotes, who were trying to match a season-high three-game winning streak. Karel Vejmelka stopped 30 shots.
”We find ourselves in a lot of these games,” Bjugstad said. ”Unfortunately, we didn’t start off the way we wanted to do. We had some spurts there where we weren’t on the same page. I thought we were a little lackadaisical as an entire unit. It’s tough when you start off like that.”
The Sharks got off to a fast start, scoring twice in 62 seconds early in the first period.
Hertl started it when he deflected a point shot from Radim Simek past Vejmelka. Bonino made it 2-0 when he took a pass from Erik Karlsson in front and scored in his fourth consecutive game after going without a goal in his first 24 games this season.
The Coyotes cut it to 2-1 late in the period when Crouse scored on a two-man advantage.
Sturm scored his eighth of the season on a rebound midway through the second before Bjugstad cut it to 3-2 early in the third.
Arizona put heavy pressure on Reimer late but couldn’t get the equalizer.
”The first two periods we played in front of them all the time,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. ”We need to get it deep and create more chances and get pucks to the net and create traffic in front of the net. We didn’t do it for 40 minutes. It’s tough to win in that league, even if you have a great push.”
Sharks television play-by-play broadcaster Randy Hahn called his 2,000th regular-season game for the team. Hahn helped form the group Pro Hockey San Jose in the 1980s that helped bring an expansion team to the city in 1991. He started as a fill-in announcer that first year before taking over as the full-time voice of the team in 1993.
While Reimer made his return for the Sharks, forward Alexander Barabanov missed the game with a lower-body injury. Noah Gregor went into the lineup in his place. … Sharks F Luke Kunin left in the first period with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return.
Coyotes: Host the New York Islanders.
Sharks: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
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