The Coyotes' recent up-and-down form roughly mirrors their season results, but their toughness was personified by rookie winger Conor Garland last weekend.
Jordan Oesterle took a shot from the point that hit teammate Garland just above the left eye on Saturday in Arizona's 3-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers, with the puck deflecting into the net as blood poured from Garland's face.
Garland had been cross-checked to the ice near the right post and was struck while trying to get up.
"I wasn't too sure what hit me," Garland said. "I knew I got hit but then I saw the blood, and as I was going off the ice, (teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson) said 'nice goal,' so that's when I realized. Then it was on the TV in the medical room, so I got to see it."
Garland returned later in the second period and scored the winner in the third.
"I've got to go to the net if I want to play in this league, and try to get some goals from the blue paint," said Garland, who scored a goal for the fourth consecutive game. "That's the way it's got to be."
Oesterle said he was relieved that Garland was OK.
"We were a little worried," Oesterle said, according to NHL.com. "We didn't know how bad it was hitting him in the face. But he's a warrior and he battled back ... He's willing to put his body on the line to score goals."
Garland played with a full face shield -- and a shiner -- Sunday in Calgary, when his goal streak was snapped in a 7-1 loss to the Flames.
The result also ended the Coyotes' three-game winning streak and prevented them from sweeping a three-game trip.
"We're playing a first-place team, and we can't have four or five guys on the outside looking in," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "They're a skilled team with players that go to the net. They scored on their chances ... I liked some of the effort from some of the guys. Obviously, it got away from us, but it was a good trip."
The Sharks head on the road Wednesday after consecutive three-goal home wins, 4-1 over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and 5-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. San Jose is 16-3-2 in its past 21 games to pull within a point of the first-place Flames in the Pacific Division.
Tomas Hertl had a hat trick against the Penguins, and Marcus Sorensen and Joe Thornton also scored. Thornton, the first overall pick by the Boston Bruins in the 1997 NHL Draft, played in his 1,000th game for the Sharks and netted what proved to be the winning goal.
Hertl's empty-net goal in the final minute was the 100th tally of his NHL career.
San Jose goalie Martin Jones made 22 saves to tie a career best by winning his eighth consecutive start.
"I thought that was as complete a game as we've played all year," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I thought our defense was solid, Jonesy was solid, special teams. And we did get contributions from all four lines. I really thought, especially the second period, we really set the game up for ourselves with how well we played."
--Field Level Media