Sharks Vs. Coyotes: Radim Vrbata, Mike Smith Put Phoenix In Playoff Spot (Again) After 2-0 Win Over San Jose

Mar. 29, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) and defenseman Dan Boyle (22) watch the puck shot by Phoenix Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata (17) during the third period at Jobing.com Arena. The Coyotes beat the Sharks 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The San Jose Sharks, who took first place in the Pacific Division Monday night, are out of a playoff spot Friday morning after Radim Vrbata scored two goals and Mike Smith hampered all the Sharks' chances, putting Phoenix in seventh.

Despite a first period that was all San Jose, the Phoenix Coyotes took the lead and never let up the rest of the way. They ended up taking the game, 2-0, further complicating the Western Conference playoff picture (again) by bumping the Sharks back out of the bubble and placing themselves in seventh place.

Audiences should already be familiar with Mike Smith, who has kept the Coyotes alive in the playoff hunt this whole way. But Radim Vrbata, who leads the league in game-winning goals, got his 11th game-winner against the Sharks, banking in on a loose puck on the power play. Vrbata only padded the score when he put the puck away on a beauty of an odd-man rush in the third period.

San Jose fell behind in momentum, but regained a few good chances in the third. Antti Niemi did what he could, making 31 total saves for the game, but his teammates were unable to convert, due to the alert Phoenix defense and Smith stopping all the Sharks' 37 shots to earn the shutout. It also didn't help San Jose that their third-ranked power play didn't really get a chance to do work -- each team only earned one opportunity with the man advantage.

The two teams don't play again until Saturday, while Friday, their Pacific Division counterparts, the Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings, take the ice.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.