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Comrie scores twice as Coyotes sink Sharks

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Mike Comrie's right knee felt much better
Saturday night.

Two days after sitting out with a sore knee, Comrie scored twice
and Mike Ricci added a power-play goal to help the Phoenix Coyotes
rout the San Jose Sharks 6-2 on 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."

Fredrik Sjostrom, Mike Johnson and Keith Ballard also scored for
the Coyotes, 4-0 against the Sharks this season.

Nils Ekman and Jonathan Cheechoo scored for the Sharks, who lost
their second straight. After the game, the Sharks held a 10-minute
players-only meeting.

"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.

Game notes
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.