SAN JOSE, Calif. - Steven Reinprecht scored his third goal on a power play with 1:05 left in overtime, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 Saturday night despite blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.
Reinprecht, who scored five goals in Phoenix’s two wins at the Shark Tank over the last three days, easily converted a rebound from the slot for his first career hat trick after the Sharks killed off all but 6 seconds of a penalty. He had a short-handed goal and an even-strength score in regulation.
Curtis Joseph made 26 saves for Phoenix, which has won six of its seven meetings with the Sharks this season. The Coyotes have won seven of nine overall in their best stretch under coach Wayne Gretzky.
But with their impressive third-period rally, the Sharks salvaged a valuable point in their quest for a playoff spot.
Scott Hannan’s power-play goal tied it with 3:53 left in regulation. Matt Carle and Jonathan Cheechoo also scored for the Sharks, who outshot Phoenix 18-3 in the third — finally showing the desperation appropriate for the Western Conference’s ninth-place team.
Calgary beat Edmonton 4-1 Saturday, allowing San Jose to creep three points behind the eighth-place Oilers with two games in hand. But the Sharks are running out of time, with just nine games left and a three-game road trip looming.
Vesa Toskala made 32 saves for San Jose.
Geoff Sanderson also scored, Keith Ballard had two assists and Joseph improved to 32-7-0-1 in his lengthy career against the Sharks.
Reinprecht got the Coyotes’ first goal on a tip in front, redirecting Ballard’s shot. His overtime goal gave him 14 points in his last seven games with Phoenix, which acquired him from Calgary on Feb. 1.
The Sharks were outshot 29-9 over the first two periods, failing to get even one puck on net in the first eight minutes of their four-shot second period.
After Sanderson scored early in the third, Reinprecht capitalized during a San Jose power play when the puck hopped over Carle’s head, hit a linesman and landed right in front of him for a breakaway goal, his 20th of the season.
But San Jose finally ended an 86-minute scoring drought on a power play 2 minutes in. Carle took a slap shot from the blue line that ricocheted off Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek and past Joseph.
San Jose couldn’t score with a 5-on-3 advantage for 50 seconds midway through the third, but Cheechoo scored his franchise-record 46th goal of the season with 8:14 to play.
The Sharks tied it when Steve Bernier knocked Ballard to the ice with one hand while controlling the puck and then circled behind the net and fed Hannan, who beat Joseph from point-blank range.
CAN’T SOLVE CUJO
If the Sharks don’t make the playoffs this season, they don’t have to look any further than Joseph for the reason why.
Joseph, who has been San Jose’s biggest nemesis throughout his career, is 5-0-0 against the Sharks this season. All time he is 32-7-0-1, giving him the most victories against San Jose. Patrick Roy is second with 25.
A FIRST FOR THOMAS
Bill Thomas was known mostly for his scoring ability in college. After his unexpected NHL debut Tuesday, Thomas said he wasn’t trying to do much more than stay out of everybody’s way.
He found a way to do that and contribute on the stat sheet Saturday. Thomas, playing in front of his parents and sister, who flew in for the game from Pittsburgh, recorded his first NHL point when he set up Geoff Sanderson’s goal early in the second period.
The Coyotes have won three straight for only the third time this season and are 6-1-0 since March 19, their best seven-game stretch of the 2005-06 campaign. . . . Defensemen Paul Mara (flu) and Jamie Rivers (bruised foot) returned to the lineup after missing the past two games.
Good wherever he goes
Curtis Joseph has now won 30 or more games for five teams. He’s one of just three players who have won 30 or more games for more than two teams.
Staff writer Matt Paulson contributed to this report.