The Phoenix Coyotes were unable to gain any ground in the race for the postseason, as they were shut out 4-0 by the San Jose Sharks Monday night at Jobing.com Arena. With the loss Phoenix remains in 11th place in the Western Conference, four points back of the No. 8 seed.
After a scoreless first, San Jose pulled away in the second period, scoring three of their four goals. Phoenix goaltender Jason LaBarbera recorded 37 saves on the night. He made the start in favor of Mike Smith, who was a late scratch with a lower body injury.
Despite their inability to puck in the net, the Coyotes did outshoot the Sharks in two of three periods, 12-10 in the first and 16-7 in the third.
There were lots of negatives in Monday night's loss. The Coyotes were 0-for-3 on the power play, and they were smoked in the face-off category, losing 44-of-72 opportunities. They were also outshot 24-7 in the second period, when the San Jose scored three of their goals.
As stated earlier, the Coyotes didn't help themselves as they continue to try and make the postseason. They have six games remaining on the season and each and every game is now a virtual must-win. They are currently in 11th place with 43 points, that's four points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the final playoff spot.
With both Minnesota and Columbus winning on Monday night, the Coyotes are in line to miss the postseason for the first time in four years.
Stat of the Night:
Goalie Mike Smith didn't play due to a lower body injury that he suffered during Sunday's practice. He had stopped 114 of 119 shots in his last four starts and had shut out San Jose in four of the past six meetings.
He Said It:
"We have a lot of players that are trying hard but we need need some players to make a positive impact on the game; not just be in a sweater, but actually do something that impacts the game and right now we just don't have enough of those guys."
"We got too many players that are just taking up a spot right now. We want players that impact the game."
"We've had too many times where we've had too many players just get through the game. We had players tonight, they just go through, and I think they should be impact players trying to have an impact on the game. I bet you after I watch the game there's not much impact there at all, which is frustrating to me." -- Head coach Dave Tippett after the team's 4-0 loss to the Sharks
The Coyotes hit the road for a three-game swing that starts on Thursday in St. Louis. After facing the Blues, they take on Chicago Saturday and Detroit on Monday.