When the San Jose Sharks (21-22-4, 6th Pacific) last saw the Arizona Coyotes (25-18-5, 2nd Pacific), the Desert Dogs were welcoming the newest member of their pack, Taylor Hall. Hall registered an assist in his debut and it looked like the Coyotes had cemented their spot atop the Pacific Division.
Just about a month later, Hall hasn’t done what the Coyotes have hoped he would do, but the team still sits in a playoff spot. Hall has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 13 games for the Coyotes, but he’s a minus-2. Since coming over in the mid-December trade, the Coyotes are a middling 6-6-1.
Luckily for Arizona, Hall isn’t all they have. Nick Schmaltz continues to impress. He leads the team in points (35) as well as assists (28). Linemate Conor Garland leads Arizona with 15 goals.
The Sharks are still without Logan Couture, so Antti Suomela will be centering the first line(?). Aaron Dell gets the start in net.
For the Coyotes, it’s Adin Hill in net.
Michael Grabner makes his return to the ice after missing a few games as a healthy scratch.
This is the projected lineup per NHL.com.
Taylor Hall - Christian Dvorak - Conor Garland
Clayton Keller - Carl Soderberg - Nick Schmaltz
Lawson Crouse - Derek Stepan - Phil Kessel
Michael Grabner - Brad Richardson - Vinnie Hinostroza
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Jason Demers
Jakob Chychrun - Alex Goligoski
Jordan Oesterle - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Scratched: Ilya Lyubushkin, Christian Fischer
Injured: Darcy Kuemper (lower body), Antti Raanta (lower body), Barrett Hayton (upper body)
Where to watch
Puck drop from Gila River Arena will be at 6:00 PT/9:00 ET. Tonight’s broadcast will be available on NBC Sports California in the Bay Area and on Fox Sports Arizona for the visitors’ market. Streaming will be available on NHLtv and ESPN+. The radio call will be on 98.5 KFOX or available to stream through the Sharks + SAP Center app.