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Sharks vs. Coyotes: Gamethread, lines and where to watch

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Nikolay Goldobin to make 2016-17 debut

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Nikolay Goldobin is set to play in his first game since Nov. 22, 2015 as the San Jose Sharks battle the Arizona Coyotes at 5 p.m. in Glendale for a little Saturday Night on Ice action. The Sharks look to get back in the win column after losing in overtime to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday. We ranked Goldobin fifth in our 25 under 25 list back before the season began.

Aaron Dell gets his first start in goal since playing against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 11. He played very well in the overtime loss, one of only a few Sharks who can claim that, and boasts the best even-strength save percentage in the league amongst netminders with at least 500 minutes played. San Jose finishes a back-to-back at home against the Boston Bruins on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

Friend of the Blog Kevin Kurz has today’s lines.

Where to watch / listen in San Jose

CSN-California / KFOX 98.5

The Sharks lead the Pacific by four points entering tonight’s game thanks to loser points and poor play by Anaheim and Edmonton. The Ducks lost to Florida on Friday night and have won four of their last 10. Edmonton and San Jose each have 12 points over their last 10 games, while the Ducks have nine in the same span.

So in spite of a pseudo skid (averaging 1.2 points a night over their last 10 vs. 1.28 points per night over the whole season) San Jose has maintained its advantage over the Oilers and actually increased its lead over Anaheim. This feels hollow because of the quality of opponents, of course. That’s where Arizona fits in. The Sharks haven’t gotten enough wins against Mike Smith and Smith alone -- perhaps a great offensive prospect like Goldobin holds the key.

He draws into the lineup tonight while Timo Meier is the 13th forward. Meier played for the Barracuda last night and may draw into the Sharks’ lineup tomorrow night. Perhaps using him three nights in a row isn’t possible, so head coach Pete DeBoer wants to give him the night off.

Of course, nobody forced the Sharks to send their 2015 first rounder to the American Hockey League to begin with; but dressing Micheal Haley against the Arizona Coyotes was inevitable given the high number of penalty minutes between the two games in the past. Is it a good decision? Absolutely not. But we saw it coming.

Projected Sharks Lines

Kevin Labanc – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker

Nikolay Goldobin – Tomas Hertl – Joel Ward

Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin – Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Projected Coyotes Lines

Max Domi – Martin Hanzal – Radim Vrbata

Brendan Perlini – Christian Dvorak – Shane Doan

Tobias Rieder – Alex Burmistrov – Josh Jooris

Jordan Martinook – Peter Holland – Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Luke Schenn

Alex Goligoski – Michael Stone

Kevin Connauton – Connor Murphy

Mike Smith (starter)

Marek Langhamer