Sharks lose in OT, but gain point in West race

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The San Jose Sharks went through a
season's worth of emotions.

Dull indifference while falling behind 3-0. A passionate surge
while rallying to tie it. Downright outrage when their comeback was
negated by two sketchy officiating decisions.

Steven Reinprecht simply stayed steady, and his three goals led
the Phoenix Coyotes to yet another win over their Pacific Division

Reinprecht completed his first career hat trick on a power play
with 1:05 left in overtime, and the Coyotes beat the Sharks 4-3
Saturday night despite blowing that three-goal lead in the third

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 after the Sharks killed off all but 6 seconds of a
penalty. He had a short-handed goal and an even-strength score in

He made it look easy in a game that was anything but simple for
the Sharks, who rallied to earn a valuable point in their playoff
chase, but wanted more.

"Right place, right time," Reinprecht claimed of his scoring
binge. "I've been going to the net and turning around, and the
puck's right on my tape."

The Sharks were furious with themselves over the first two
periods, when they were outshot 29-9 while falling behind -- but
they were pleased by the third, when they rallied for three
terrific goals.

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

"I'm wondering why it took us so long to get started,
especially in the battle we're in," defenseman Kyle McLaren said.
"It's inexcusable. We've got to get better, because there's only
nine games left."

Two officiating decisions went against San Jose in the final
minutes: No penalty was called when McLaren was dragged down with a
clear look at the net, but Carle got an interference penalty
moments later.

Sharks coach Ron Wilson thought the officials were intimidated
by Gretzky's game-long yapping, but the NHL's career scoring leader
only praised his team's effort.

"Emotions got really strong and hard and high in the third
period, but that's how you gain experience," Gretzky said. "Their
team turned it up a notch in the third, but it was nice to see us
find a way to squeeze out a victory. We're going in the right
direction, and it makes us feel good."

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.

"We're playing our best hockey of the year," Joseph said.

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.

"We've got to be happy with our third period and how we came
together down the stretch," Hannan said. "But we've got to be
embarrassed about the first two periods."

Vesa Toskala made 32 saves for San Jose, including a handful of
outstanding stops.

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's overtime goal gave him 14 points in his last
seven games with the club that acquired him from Calgary on Feb. 1.

During a San Jose power play in the second period, the puck
hopped over Carle's head, hit a linesman and landed right in front
of Reinprecht for a breakaway goal, his 20th of the season, to put
Phoenix up 3-0.

But San Jose opened the third period with energy and finally
ended an 86-minute scoring drought on a power play 2 minutes in.
Carle, the star University of Denver defenseman in his third NHL
game, scored on a deflected slap shot.

Cheechoo then slid through traffic and expertly backhanded home
his franchise-record 46th goal of the season with 8:14 to play.

The Sharks tied it with a superb effort by Steve Bernier, their
rookie power forward. With San Jose on a power play, Bernier
knocked Ballard to the ice with one hand while controlling the puck
with the other -- and then circled behind the net and fed Hannan,
who beat Joseph from point-blank range.

Game notes
Phoenix D Paul Mara played after missing two games with the
flu, and D Jamie Rivers returned after sitting out two games with a
sore foot. ... San Jose C Alyn McCauley returned after missing
Thursday's game with a lower-body injury, ending his streak of 169
consecutive games played. ... Hannan earned his 100th NHL point
with an assist on Cheechoo's goal.