The 2021 season opens tonight at Gila River Arena, not too far from the facilities the Sharks have had to make their home away from home during training camp over the last two weeks.
Of note in the Sharks’ lineup, rookie John Leonard will make his debut on the second line, while newcomer Ryan Donato will play on Noah Gregor’s wing on the third line. Patrick Marleau will be playing on the team’s fourth line and the Sharks’ third D-pairing will see rookies Nikolai Knyzhov and Nicolas Meloche. The forward group looks fairly green, and the bottom-six may take on a different role than in seasons past.
On the Coyotes’ side, Lawson Crouse has been unavailable due to COVID protocols, but has been cleared today. He may still be a game-time decision. John Hayden (not to be confused with fellow winger Barrett Hayton) has been skating in Crouse’s place on the fourth line.
Timo Meier — Logan Couture — Kevin Labanc
Evander Kane — Tomas Hertl — John Leonard
Matt Nieto — Noah Gregor — Ryan Donato
Patrick Marleau — Joel Kellman — Marcus Sorensen
Mario Ferraro — Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Erik Karlsson
Nikolai Knyzhov — Nicolas Meloche
Expected Scratches: Dylan Gambrell, Stefan Noesen, Jacob Middleton
Injured Reserve: Radim Simek (knee)
Barrett Hayton — Nick Schmaltz — Conor Garland
Drake Caggiula — Christian Dvorak — Phil Kessel
Clayton Keller — Derick Brassard — Tyler Pitlick
Lawson Crouse/John Hayden — Johan Larsson — Christian Fischer
Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Jason Demers
Jakob Chychrun — Alex Goligoski
Jordan Oesterle — Niklas Hjalmarsson
Expected Scratches: Adin Hill, Kyle Capobianco
COVID-19 Protocol: Lawson Crouse
How to Watch
Puck drop is at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona and NBC Sports Bay Area and is available to stream through NHL.tv.
Follow along in the comments for live updates and reactions throughout the game!