San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Antti Niemi made 20 saves to lead the San Jose Sharks in a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
Logan Couture posted a goal and an assist while Joe Pavelski and Matt Nieto also scored for the Sharks, who have won four of their last five games.
"It was a good win for us tonight," said Niemi. "The guys did a real good job of keeping them away from the net and I was able to see the shots clearly tonight."
San Jose kept its playoff hopes alive with the win, as the team now has 87 points and is three back of Los Angeles for the final wild card spot. Winnipeg also has 90 points, and both the Jets and Kings have a game in hand on the Sharks.
Mark Arcobello had the only goal of the game for the Coyotes, who have dropped their past three. Louis Domingue turned aside 34 shots in defeat.
"They came out fast like we expected," said Domingue. "We were able to keep the score tight for a while but it's hard when you have to come back from a two-goal deficit."
The two clubs wrap up a home-and-home set in Arizona on Saturday.
The Sharks scored just 58 seconds in when Couture blew a shot past the glove of Domingue from the right wing.
It was 2-0 at the five-minute mark as Patrick Marleau sent a backhand pass from behind the net to the front where Pavelski one-timed it in for his 37th of the season.
The only goal of the second period went to Arizona when Arcobello skated down the right wing and sent a pass to the front, where it hit off the stick of Brent Burns and went in at 2:34.
The Sharks put the game out of reach with 5:50 to play after Chris Tierney sent a shot on net from the left point and Nieto fought in the rebound for his ninth of the season.
Arizona was 0-for-1 on the power play while San Jose went 0-for-2 ... San Jose has won five of the last six meetings against the Coyotes.