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Preview: Coyotes at Sharks

Arizona is seek a win at the SAP Center on Saturday night

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

The Coyotes will look to end a seven-game road losing streak on Saturday night when they take on the San Jose Sharks. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. Arizona time at the SAP Center.

Arizona (16-28-6) has posted a 0-6-1 record away from Glendale since winning at Toronto on Dec. 15.

The Coyotes brought 18 of their dads with them to San Jose on a group trip for this game, so perhaps their presence will bring Arizona luck against the Sharks, whom they've beaten twice already this season.

Video: Jordan Martinook discusses having dads on road trip

Mike Smith, who often plays well vs. San Jose, is expected to start in goal. Smith has posted four of his 31 NHL shutouts vs. the Sharks. In his past five games at San Jose, Smith has a 1.99 goals-against average and a .952 save percentage.

"San Jose's one of those teams that can make you look pretty silly if you don't come out ready to play so I think it's a team that you got to be prepared to play right from the start, especially in this building," Smith said. "We've done a lot of good things lately so hopefully that continues tonight."

Forward Max Domi returned to the lineup on Thursday vs. Chicago and played 12:51 after missing 23 games. He'll likely get more ice time vs. the Sharks, against whom he has scored two of his five goals this season.

Forward Jamie McGinn, who began his NHL career with San Jose in 2008-09, will enter the game needing one goal to reach 100 for his career.

Arizona's rookies have combined for 61 points this season. That ranks third among the 30 NHL teams. Forward Christian Dvorak is leading the way with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists).

"The four kids we've got in the lineup, the rookies, they're all going to be good NHL players for a long time," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "Early in the season you're protecting some people, but now that part of the process is over. They're all fully engaged in all parts of the game."

Video: Dave Tippett previews Coyotes' game at Sharks

San Jose (33-17-2), which has won eight of its past nine games, ranks second in the Western Conference with 68 points.

Martin Jones, who, like Smith, recently tended goal for the Pacific Division at this year's NHL All-Star Game, likely will start in net. Jones ranks second in the NHL with 27 victories.

Forward Patrick Marleau scored his 500th NHL goal on Thursday, becoming the 45th player in NHL history to reach that milestone.

Center Joe Thornton thrives vs. the Coyotes, against whom he made his NHL debut on Oct. 8, 1997. Thornton has notched 81 points (21 goals. 60 assists) in 79 career games vs. Arizona, including his 500th NHL point (on Feb. 12, 2006) and his 1,000th NHL point (on April 8, 2011).

Defenseman Brent Burns is having a remarkable season with 55 points (22 goals, 33 assists). Only Connor McDavid (60 points) and Sidney Crosby (56 points) have generated more offense.

After a slow start, forward Mikkel Boedker is starting to contribute. Boedker has notched four assists over the past five games and has climbed to 17 points on the season (six goals, 11 assists).

OFFICIAL GAME NOTES

BROADCAST INFO:

TV: FOX Sports Arizona

Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 AM

COYOTES PROJECTED LINEUP VS. SHARKS:

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup. #ARIvsSJS pic.twitter.com/6m6wPtG29d

 

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