GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—Mike Comrie’s right knee felt much better Saturday night.
“Against a team like the Sharks you can’t make many mistakes,” Comrie said. “We played a really solid game and didn’t make many mistakes.”
“I hope they decide to hold themselves accountable,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. “We had a decent first period and then we made soft plays, misreads on 2-on-3 situations, and next thing you know we are down 2-0.”
Phoenix, opening a season-high 10-game homestand, has won three straight at home.
Comrie gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead at 2:16 of the second period when he swept a backhand shot past Evgeni Nabokov from near the right goal line. Sjostrom made it 2-0 48 seconds later, backhanding a long rebound past Nabokov.
Nabokov, who stopped all 11 shots he faced in the first period, was pulled in favor of Vesa Toskala, but the Sharks’ backup fared no better.
“I didn’t like either one of those goals,” Wilson said. “I’ve seen this happen before where the floodgate opens. I sent Vesa in to try and stop it.”
Johnson extended the Coyotes’ led to 3-0 at 11:51 of the second period, finishing a 2-on-1, short-handed break with a short wrist shot.
“The first period was very good and the second was kind of a characteristic that I thought we had gotten away from,” Sharks forward Alyn McCauley said.
Phoenix added three more goals in the third period on only four shots.
Ballard made it 4-0 when he blocked a shot in the right faceoff circle, gathered in the puck, skated down the right side and blasted a shot from the left circle past Toskala.
Ekman interrupted the Coyotes’ scoring at 12:04 of the third when he beat Curtis Joseph.
Ricci answered 44 seconds later when he took a pass from Ladislav Nagy in front of the net for his first goal since Dec. 23.
Comrie got his second goal 58 seconds later on a long slap shot, and Cheechoo capped the scoring with 2:04 remaining off a pass from Joe Thornton.
Until Ekman’s goal, San Jose’s best scoring opportunities came midway through the second period, when penalties on Joseph and Sean O’Donnell 22 seconds apart gave the Sharks an extended two-man advantage. But Joseph made four saves, including a pair against Thornton from close range.
“It’s not a question of shutting him (Thornton) down,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. “It’s a question of playing against him hard and our guys have played against him hard, and we played against him hard.”
Phoenix defenseman Paul Mara, playing without a stick over the final 45 seconds of the two-man advantage, made a save of his own when he slid to the ice to block a shot.
The Coyotes will play seven straight home games before the Olympic break, then two more after the break before going back on the road March 7 in Detroit. … Comrie tied Shane Doan for the team lead with 16 goals. … Nabokov has been pulled twice in four starts against Phoenix this season.