Wayne Gretzky returned to his spot behind the Phoenix bench on Wednesday, welcomed back to the pack with a 5-4 thriller by his Coyotes. Gretzky who had taken a ten day leave of absence to be with his dying mother, provided the inspiration for a team that came from behind to take the win from the Sharks.
The slumping Sharks have lost five of their last six games, keeping things tight in the Pacific Division. Looking lost for portions of the game the Sharks provided no support for starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov who was chased out of the game early in the third period after giving up four goals on eight shots.
The Coyotes started Brian Boucher in the nets as the slumping Curtis Joseph was relegated to a back up role after struggling in his last two games. Boucher held up his end of the night by facing 30 shots for the Coyote win.
The power play once again played a pivotal role in a game as the coyotes benefited from three consecutive penalty calls against the Sharks, leading to the Coyotes taking the lead for good. The pulled the Coyotes even over the last ten games with five wins and five losses, leaving them nine points out of first in the Pacific Division, 9th overall in the Western Division.