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Sharks vs. Coyotes preview: Another golden opportunity to gain ground

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Second half of home-and-home series takes place in Glendale.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks took care of business against a dismantled Coyotes team last night on home ice and they'll have to do the same tonight in Arizona as they're presented with yet another golden opportunity to gain ground in the playoff race. A San Jose win tonight, combined with regulation losses by Winnipeg and Los Angeles, would put the Sharks just one point back of the Kings for the final wild card spot in the west. A loss to the lowly Desert Dogs, on the other hand, would effectively dash their postseason dreams.

Tale Of The Tape
San Jose Sharks

@

Arizona Coyotes
39-30-9, 87 points Record 23-47-8, 54 points
5th in Pacific
Rank 7th in Pacific
51.2%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 47.0%
99.0 PDO 97.1
21.3 PP% 20.1
78.8 PK% 77.5

6PM PDT | Gila River Arena | Glendale, Arizona
TV: CSNCA+ | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: Five For Howling

Projected Sharks Lineup

Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Melker Karlsson
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tomas Hertl
Matt Nieto - Chris Tierney - Tommy Wingels
Barclay Goodrow - Ben Smith - Mike Brown

Brenden Dillon - Justin Braun
Karl Stollery - Brent Burns
Matt Irwin - Taylor Fedun

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Projected Coyotes Lineup

Tobias Rieder - Mark Arcobello - Shane Doan
Martin Erat - Sam Gagner - David Moss
Tye McGinn - Joe Vitale - B.J. Crombeen
Craig Cunningham - Kyle Chipchura - Jordan Szwarz

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Michael Stone
Klas Dahlbeck - Connor Murphy
Brandon Gormley - John Moore

Mike Smith
Louis Domingue

Last Meeting

Last night, the Sharks outshot Arizona 16-3 and outscored them 2-0 in the first period, riding that start to a tense 3-1 victory that moved San Jose within three points of a playoff spot.

Storylines

  • Mike Smith is the Coyotes' confirmed starter, which is probably a good thing for the Sharks given that his awful performance this season is probably the single biggest reason Arizona is in the McDavid race. Smith's .904 SV% this year is third-worst among starters.
  • Joe Pavelski has six goals in four games against Arizona this season.