The Sharks (10-8-1, 6th Pacific) embark on a short Pacific division road trip tonight to visit the Arizona Coyotes (5-15-3, 8th Pacific). A tale of two franchises, as it were, seems to have brought them to a similar place, at least in the standings. The two teams come into the evening headed in opposite directions, and could both end streaks tonight.
The Sharks have lost three in a row at home, most recently a nine round shootout heart breaker against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, and still rank last in the NHL in total goals scored and allowed. While this could eventually lead to some game winning defensive hockey, it will probably be boring on the way there unless they can consistently generate some actual offense.
There are bright spots, however. Joonas Donskoi has seven goals in 16 games after recording six in 61 games in 2016-17, including two goals and one in a shootout on Monday, Tomas Hertl has five points (one goal, four assists) in his last five games, and Logan Couture leads the team in both goals (10) and total points (16). Martin Jones and Aaron Dell are second and third in the NHL, respectively, in goals against average among goalies with at least seven appearances (2.11, 2.14), and Jones is sixth in save percentage.
Brand new shiny Arizona head coach Rick Tocchet's debut season overall has been dismal. Pegged by some to make a step forward in their development after some high profile off season moves to pick up Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta, the Yotes have languished in the basement of the league, failing to win a game in regulation until their record-setting 21st game. Since then, however, they're undefeated, sitting on a three game winning streak that took them through Western Canada and a 4-1 win in Toronto on Monday night. The Coyotes have more wins in their last three games than in the previous 20.
Rookie and Calder trophy favorite Clayton Keller leads the Coyotes in points (20) and goals (11) as they look to pin down their first win against a Western Conference opponent tonight. Anthony Duclair is on a three game point streak as well, including a hat trick over the Senators in Ottawa.
The Sharks will head to Sin City to play the Vegas (Golden) Knights on Friday before coming home for the holiday. The Sharks need to start banking points against these underdogs if they want to keep a lock on a postseason berth. Tonight's game marks the quarter mark (not quarter pole, that means the other thing) of the NHL season, and Thanksgiving has long been a measuring stick by which to judge how a season is going. By that metric, the Sharks could be in trouble.
Timo Meier -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi -- Logan Couture -- Tomas Hertl
Daniel O'Regan -- Chris Tierney -- Kevin Labanc
Mikkel Boedker -- Ryan Carpenter -- Joel Ward
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Jannik Hansen, Tim Heed
Injured: Paul Martin (ankle), Barclay Goodrow (upper body), Melker Karlsson (upper body)
Jones has allowed two or fewer in 11 of his last 12 and holds a record of 8-3-1, with a .938 save percentage and a 1.70 goals against average in that span. Paul Martin had an injury setback unrelated to his ankle injury, according to head coach DeBoer. Ryan Carpenter will draw back into the lineup in place of Jannik Hansen as a fourth line center, moving Danny O'Regan to Chris Tierney's wing, but Timo Meier took rushes on the top line at practice yesterday, so the exact locations him and Kevin Labanc are still up in the air.
Brendan Perlini -- Derek Stepan -- Tobias Rieder
Clayton Keller -- Brad Richardson -- Christian Fischer
Max Domi -- Christian Dvorak -- Anthony Duclair
Zac Rinaldo -- Nick Cousins -- Jordan Martinook
Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers
Alex Goligoski -- Niklas Hjalmarsson
Kevin Connauton -- Luke Schenn
Scratched: Mario Kempe, Joel Hanley
Injured: Jakob Chychrun (knee)
Antti Raanta is making his eighth straight start, and has started to turn his season around. He's had a save percentage of .927 in three wins on the road trip. Chychrun skated with the team this morning, but there's still no timetable for his return to the lineup.
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSCA, FS-A Plus
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App