The Phoenix Coyotes were perhaps a little concerned going into the opening game of the 2011-2012 season. They've done some retooling in the offseason, but their biggest change from last year was starting goalie Ilya Bryzgalov being signed away by the Philadelphia Flyers. They were almost certainly concerned about how new starter Mike Smith would fare against the division rival San Jose Sharks to open the season.
The good news for the Coyotes is that Smith made 44 saves. The bad news is that he had 50 save opportunities.
The Sharks came roaring out of the gate, scoring all of their six goals in the first two periods of play. The Sharks had 52 shots on goal during the game, compared to Phoenix's 29. Smith was surely overwhelmed by San Jose's offense, which finished the night with twelve separate skaters with at least three shots on goal.
Andrew Desjardins and Joe Pavelski scored two goals each, and Patrick Marleau picked up two assists. San Jose goalie Thomas Greiss performed well as he held the Coyotes to three goals, two of which came in the third period.
The win gets San Jose off on the right foot. Only three of their ten games in October will be played at the Shark Tank, so this will be a good early morale boost for them.