SAN JOSE – Josef Korenar stopped Phil Kessel on a breakaway in the third period of Friday’s game between the Sharks and Arizona Coyotes. But it was hardly the last odd-man rush Korenar would face over the final 20 minutes.
Kessel scored on another breakaway a short while after his first one was stopped, and Michael Bunting finished off a 2-on-1 midway through the third period as the Coyotes beat the Sharks 5-2 at SAP Center.
On Bunting’s goal, Evander Kane snapped his stick on an attempted slap shot, creating an odd-man rush the other way. Conor Garland fed Bunting, who scored his 10th of the season to help hand the Sharks their fourth loss in five games.
Kessel got behind the Sharks defense, took a pass from Christian Dvorak, and beat Korenar at the 4:53 mark of the third period.
Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier scored and Korenar finished with 29 saves in the loss. The two teams play again Saturday night, with San Jose rookie goalie Alexei Melnichuk slated to make his first NHL start.
The Sharks and Coyotes were tied 2-2 after two periods.
After Karlsson scored his eighth goal of the season in the first period, Meier gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead at the 3:30 mark of the second, firing a shot past Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper for his 11th goal of the season.
Arizona turned its game around shortly after. Defenseman Victor Soderstrom, 20, scored his first NHL goal in his third career game, as his shot from just outside the slot beat Korenar at the 4:59 mark.
The Coyotes’ tied the game at the 11:05 mark of the second. With the Sharks down two men after penalties to Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl, Conor Garland one-timed a pass from Jakob Chychrun past Korenar for his 11th of the season.
Korenar, who was making his fifth start in the last seven games, stopped 17 of 19 shots through two periods. Korenar came into Friday with a 3-4-0 record and a .902 save percentage in nine games.
Forward John Leonard was hurt in the first period.
Sharks winger Kevin Labanc had just cleared a puck to center ice that was collected by Coyotes forward Christian Fischer. Leonard was in pursuit and was about to stick check Fischer when he lost his balance — getting the blade of his skate caught in the ice — and fell face-first into the boards in front of the Coyotes bench.
Leonard remained face down on the ice for several moments as he was tended to by Sharks head athletic trainer Ray Tufts. Leonard then got up slowly and was bleeding as he was slowly helped off the ice and to the Sharks’ dressing room.
The play happened with 2:28 left in the first period. Leonard did not return.
Leonard, 22, was playing in his first game back after he was a scratch Wednesday in the Sharks’ 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Leonard started Friday’s game on a line with Labanc and Dylan Gambrell.
Leonard, in his first professional season, came into Friday with 13 points in 43 games with the Sharks.