The Sharks (23-13-6, 4th Pacific) continue a rough week with a rematch against the Coyotes (10-28-7, 8th Pacific) in Glendale. San Jose is doing their darnedest to make up their games played deficit all at once, as tonight marks the Sharks' third game in four nights and the second of a five games in seven nights gauntlet.
If the Coyotes look familiar, it might be because they visited San Jose just three days ago, eventually gifting the Sharks a 6-5 overtime win in a bit of a slop fest. The Sharks seemed to have learned the right lessons from the affair, though, going on to dominate the Kings in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon with a 4-1 win. This week is a great opportunity for the Sharks to bank some points with all of those games in hand, as they sit just two points behind the idle Calgary Flames for second place in the Pacific.
The Coyotes have struggled lately, where "struggled" is code for "flailed hopelessly" and "lately" is code for "since 2012." Arizona boasts a 3-10-3 record in their past 16, and comes into the evening having lost their last four. At this point, it probably behooves them to lose as often as possible to increase the odds of drafting Swedish Olympian Rasmus Dahlin in the Spring, but you tell an NHL player to lose on purpose, I'll wait.
One area the Sharks may struggle tonight is on the man advantage, as the Coyotes have the league's third best penalty kill since 31 October, sitting at a pretty 85.5%. Additionally, Arizona goaltenders have a history of starching Sharks' offence, and newcomer Antti Raanta is no exception. In five games against San Jose, Raanta is 2-1-0 with a goals against average of 1.46 and a save percentage of .942. The Sharks will have to break through the Finn to keep climbing the standings.
Speaking of climbing standings, Joe Thornton is likely to hit one more points milestone this year. After passing up the fun-loving Adam Oates on the all time points list, Thornton is only three points shy of catching Bryan Trottier for 16th place at 1425. It could happen tonight if he shares any time at all with the red hot Joonas Donskoi, who's been breaking ankles all weekend to the tune of two goals and three assists in two games.
Go get 'em!
Timo Meier -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Kevin Labanc
Mikkel Boedker -- Chris Tierney -- Joonas Donskoi
Joel Ward -- Barclay Goodrow -- Melker Karlsson
Brenden Dillon -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Joakim Ryan -- Tim Heed
Scratched: Jannik Hansen
Brendan Perlini -- Derek Stepan -- Richard Panik
Tobias Rieder -- Max Domi -- Christian Fischer
Clayton Keller -- Christian Dvorak -- Josh Archibald
Zac Rinaldo -- Brad Richardson -- Jordan Martinook
Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers
Jakob Chychrun -- Niklas Hjalmarsson
Alex Goligoski -- Luke Schenn
Scratched: Freddie Hamilton, Nick Cousins, Kevin Connauton
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSA, FS-A PLUS
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App