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The San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes square off Thursday night at the Gila River Arena.
The San Jose Sharks look to stay hot after winning six of their last nine games. The San Jose Sharks are averaging 2.8 goals per game and are scoring on 21.2 percent of their power plays. Joe Pavelski leads San Jose with 22 goals, Brent Burns has 23 assists and Patrick Marleau has 113 shots on goal. Defensively, the San Jose Sharks are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 79.5 percent of their power play chances. Martin Jones has allowed 83 goals on 960 shots faced and Alex Stalock has given up 28 goals on 263 shots. Jones has allowed eight goals in his last three games.
The Arizona Coyotes look for consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Arizona Coyotes are averaging 2.7 goals per game and are scoring on 18.6 percent of their power plays. Shane Doan leads Arizona with 16 goals, Oliver Ekman-Larsson has 20 assists and Max Domi has 82 shots on goal. Defensively, the Arizona Coyotes are allowing three goals per game and are killing 76.4 percent of their power play chances. Mike Smith has allowed 59 goals on 598 shots faced and Anders Lindback has given up 41 goals on 380 shots. Lindback has allowed six goals in his last three games.
The Sharks are 1-5 in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest and 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Western Conference. The Coyotes are 4-0 in their last 4 games playing on 2 days rest and 12-40 in their last 52 vs. a team with a winning record. The Sharks are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Arizona and 5-2 in the last 7 meetings overall.
Keys to the Game
Mitigate the Top Line – San Jose’s top line has always been incredibly effective. Even if the Coyotes can’t completely stop them, they need to win the other matchups that might be more favorable to them.
Don’t Lose Your Head – There were a lot of fireworks at the end of Monday night’s affair against the Buffalo Sabres. Nobody appears to have earned supplemental discipline, but the Coyotes are almost certainly on notice. They have to make sure their emotions don’t get the better of them.
Keep Working Early On – Arizona has done a very good job in the past few games of being aggressive early and taking shots. Even if it’s not leading to success right now, the goals will come if they keep pressing.
San Jose’s lone injury is Dainius Zubris, who is nonetheless considered probable for tonight’s game.
Arizona is still only missing Mike Smith and Joe Vitale, who are both on injured reserve.