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San Jose
Sharks
53-18-11
Phoenix
Coyotes
36-39-7

23 SOG
20 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
SJS
PHX
game preview

Sharks-Coyotes Preview

Saturday, 11.29.2008 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

The last time the San Jose Sharks enjoyed a lengthy winning streak, a matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes spoiled their run.

Looking to avoid a similar fate, the league-leading Sharks aim for a seventh straight victory as they visit the Pacific Division rival Coyotes on Saturday.

San Jose (19-3-1) has boasted several winning stretches en route to the best start in franchise history. Among those was a seven-game winning streak that started in October, but was halted by a 4-2 loss in Phoenix (10-10-2) on Nov. 9.

It was the Sharks' third consecutive defeat at Phoenix, and was also their fourth loss in five meetings (1-2-2) versus the Coyotes.

But since that regulation defeat, first-place San Jose has posted a 6-0-1 record. It won a sixth straight game on Friday, getting two goals from Dan Boyle and three assists from Ryane Clowe in a 6-2 victory at Dallas.

Evgeni Nabokov made 25 saves in his second straight game after missing the previous seven due to a lower-body injury for the Sharks, who picked up a third consecutive road victory to improve to 7-3-0 as a visitor in 2008-09.

"It's about getting team victories," said Boyle, who leads all Sharks defensemen with eight goals and 21 points. "Everybody is chipping in. The defensemen are contributing offensively. From top to bottom, everybody is playing well."

A productive offense, which leads the league with 89 goals, has been key to San Jose's current run, as opponents have been outscored 32-13. The Sharks have also capitalized on their power-play chances, finishing 2-for-6 on Friday to improve to 14-for-36 (38.9 percent) in those situations in that span.

They've been just as effective on the penalty kill, stopping all five attempts versus Dallas and preventing 21 of 26 short-handed goals in the last six games.

"We were happy with our complete game," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.

For San Jose to continue its success, it will have to contain a Phoenix team that has won back-to-back contests following an 0-4-2 stretch. After beating Columbus 3-2 on the road on Wednesday, the Coyotes kicked off their four-game homestand with a 2-1 win over Colorado on Friday.

Derek Morris - back in the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury - and Kevin Porter each scored goals to back another stellar effort from backup Mikael Tellqvist, who stopped 37 shots in place of the slumping Ilya Bryzgalov.

"He's definitely been the difference the last two games," said Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, whose team is trying to match its season-high three-game winning streak from Nov. 8-12.

Tellqvist's resurgence is coming at the right time for a Phoenix team trying to overcome the absence of play-making center Olli Jokinen, who is out for at least two weeks due to a shoulder injury.

With Gretzky likely to ride the hot hand, Tellqvist will have a chance to end his struggles against San Jose. He is just 0-3-0 with tie and a 4.13 goals-against average in five career matchups.

Tellqvist must also contain center Joe Thornton, who has four goals and nine assists during a seven-game point streak and 10 goals and 16 assists in his last 13 contests against the Coyotes.

Nabokov, meanwhile, is 7-1-1 with a 1.64 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage in his last 10 starts versus the Coyotes. He has allowed 15 goals on 180 shots in winning seven straight starts overall.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 09 '09PHX 4 at SJS 1E. Jovanovski
Mar 28 '09PHX 2 at SJS 3J. Pavelski
Mar 17 '09SJS 3 at PHX 4S. Doan
Jan 29 '09PHX 0 at SJS 2C. Ehrhoff
Nov 29 '08SJS 3 at PHX 2J. Pavelski
Nov 09 '08SJS 2 at PHX 4P. Mueller
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Setoguchi24121527+11222
P. Marleau24111526+11412
J. Thornton2462026+72641
R. Clowe24111223+72561
D. Boyle2381321+102442
J. Pavelski24101020+3231
R. Blake2451520+55030
M. Michalek227916+2822
C. Ehrhoff2421416+52410
M. Vlasic2421113+91000
M. Grier223710+61701
J. Cheechoo19448+11421
T. Plihal20336+1801
J. Roenick24156+21800
B. Lukowich23055+9600
M. Goc16134-21001
J. McGinn5213+2001
J. Shelley23112-14201
L. Kaspar6101-1401
B. Staubitz9011+12500
A. Semenov8011+11000
D. Murray19000+1900
R. Armstrong1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
E. Nabokov1513-2-0393762.57.896
B. Boucher97-1-1172361.89.928
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Doan23111122+22731
O. Jokinen2171118+32930
P. Mueller235813-41033
M. Hanzal2321012-32300
K. Yandle1911112-12100
M. Boedker235510+1201
S. Reinprecht213710+3200
K. Porter21549+2012
K. Turris21257-6611
E. Jovanovski23167-121811
Z. Michalek23156+3600
D. Morris20314-2600
T. Fedoruk23224-23400
V. Tikhonov23224-2401
E. Lisin7224-2200
D. Carcillo19213-44920
K. Sauer23033+42400
D. Hale17112-41100
K. Klee16022+2600
D. Winnik17011-13300
G. Murray8000-11200
B. McGrattan3000-11200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
I. Bryzgalov187-9-1475272.75.911
M. Tellqvist63-2-1122002.03.940