For at least two periods, it looked like the Phoenix Coyotes were finally going to end their struggles against the rival Sharks from San Jose.
Then the third period happened.
Phoenix entered the third period boasting a 3-1 lead. A win would have been their first over the Sharks in six contests, and their sixth in a row on the road. Not only that, but the Coyotes led 3-0 up until eight seconds were left in the second period, with one of those goals coming from Paul Bissonnette, his first real contribution to the stat sheet all season.
That third period saw the Coyotes get outshot 15-6, with four San Jose goals finding their way into the net, including the empty netter at the end.
After scoring at the end of the second, Joe Pavelski notched his second goal of the game less than two minutes into the third period. Then new Shark Kyle Wellwood scored his first San Jose goal, with other new Shark Ben Eager contributing his first San Jose point on the score.
With the score at 3-3, it was already bleak for Phoenix. It got even worse when Patrick Marleau scored a shorthanded goal for the Sharks, and gave San Jose their first lead of the game. Joe Thornton's empty net goal was the final nail in the coffin, as the Coyotes lost 5-3.
The loss comes not long after Phoenix experienced a similar meltdown to the cellar-dwelling Edmonton Oilers, in which the Coyotes lost in the waning seconds.
The Yotes have now lost five of seven, including a pair to the Sharks, and have developed a Chicago Blackhawks-like penchant for blowing leads. It won't get any easier for them when the Coyotes return to Jobing.com Arena to host the Western Conference-leading Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.