SAN JOSE, Calif. - This was a disastrous performance by the Coyotes.
If not for Curtis Joseph, the score would have indicated as much. Joseph, always good against the San Jose Sharks (32-9-1 all-time), gave a valiant effort, stopping 31 shots, but received zero offensive support as Phoenix’s run at HP Pavilion came to an end.
The Coyotes, who had won four straight here, were shut out for the sixth time, 4-0 Monday.
“We weren’t ready to play and they were ready to play,” coach Wayne Gretzky said.
Phoenix, outshot 15-1 at one point, was lucky to be in the game after the first period. It allowed 22 shots but trailed just 1-0.
The Coyotes also committed five penalties in the first 20 minutes which led to two five-on-three disadvantages. They killed the first, but Milan Michalek, with his brother Zbynek and Jeremy Roenick in the penalty box, capitalized on the second with a shot from the slot into an empty net to give San Jose all the offense it would need.
Vesa Toskala made 23 saves and Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau each had three assists.
Owen Nolan faced the Sharks here for just the second time since being traded during the 2002-03 season.
Nolan, who appeared in 568 games for the Sharks from 1995-2003 and is still their franchise leader in goals (206), assists (245) and points (451), played an integral part in the Sharks’ transformation from an expansion team to a playoff contender.
“I’ve always loved this place. It’s a great city and a great place to play,” Nolan said. “For me to come back and play, I’m excited. I love playing in this building.”
Joseph said he suffered partial hearing loss in his right ear as a result of being struck on the side of his helmet with a puck during a rapid-fire shot drill at Saturday’s morning skate.
Joseph said immediately after he was hit, he lost all hearing in the ear, and it took about half a day for it to start returning. Joseph said his hearing will never be back to 100 percent but it shouldn’t affect his play.
Patrick Fischer, who is still battling a groin injury, was held out of the game, but he is expected to play today. Until his injury heals, Fischer won’t play on consecutive nights, Gretzky said. Mike Ricci, a healthy scratch in the past two games and a member of the Sharks for six-plus seasons, took his spot. … Mikael Tellqvist, 2-0-1 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .927 save percentage with Phoenix, will start in goal tonight.
Coyotes at Canucks
When: 8 p.m. today
Where: GM Place, Vancouver
TV: FSN Arizona
Radio: KDUS (1060 AM)
Line: Vancouver 145-165
Series history: This is the first meeting this season. Phoenix trails 53-72-20-0 all-time and 19-45-10-0 in Vancouver where it hasn’t won since Oct. 21, 2000.
Scouting report: Canucks — Vancouver, which fell to Calgary on Saturday, has alternated wins and losses the past seven games. Twins Henrik (27 points) and Daniel (24) Sedin are Nos. 1 and 2 on the team in scoring. Goalie Roberto Luongo (14-13-1, 2.54 goals-against average, .909 save percentage) has appeared in 29 of Vancouver’s 30 goals. Defenseman Sami Salo (shoulder) is day-to-day while forwards Taylor Pyatt (shoulder), Tommi Santala (leg) and Josh Green (broken toe) and defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick (hairline fracture in foot) are out.