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Preview: Coyotes vs. Sharks

Arizona is starting a three-game homestand on Saturday vs. San Jose

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

Keys to the Game: ARI vs. SJS

Coyotes players preview tonight's game vs. Sharks

From the morning skate, Jordan Martinook, Alex Goligoski and Martin Hanzal offer pregame insight into tonight's home game against. the Sharks

  • 03:23 •

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes will begin a three-game homestand on Saturday night when they host the San Jose Sharks at Gila River Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. Arizona time.

Arizona (5-9-2), which beat San Jose, 3-2, on Nov. 1, will be looking to end a four-game losing streak (0-2-2).

The Coyotes will play minus center Brad Richardson, who suffered a long-term, leg injury in Thursday's game at Vancouver. General Manager John Chayka said Richardson underwent surgery on Friday. 

"Obviously we're missing 'Richie,'" Head Coach Dave Tippett said after Saturday's morning skate. "He's a big part of our team, but it's opportunity for other guys. We need a lot of other guys to jump in and fill some of those minutes. Certainly everybody's concerned for him, and his surgery went well yesterday, but we've got a game to play tonight and we should be focussed on that ... We wish him the best and he'll get the best of care, but we've got to move on."

Video: Dave Tippett previews tonight's game vs. Sharks

Arizona recalled center Christian Dvorak from the American Hockey League on Saturday to replace Richardson in the lineup.

Captain Shane Doan will enter the game tied with Thomas Steen for the franchise's all-time assists record. Doan already leads the franchise in goals (397) and points (950).

Mike Smith will start in goal. Smith made 22 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss at Calgary on Wednesday in his return from a lower-body injury suffered in the second game of the season. Smith is 10-7-2 vs. San Jose in his career and has shut out the Sharks four times.

Arizona will have forward Tobias Rieder back in the lineup after he missed Thursday's game at Vancouver with a lower-body injury. 

San Jose (9-8-0) is playing the final game of a six-game road trip. The Sharks won the first three games but have lost the past two games, both by one goal.

Defenseman Brett Burns leads the team with six goals and captain Joe Pavelski is the top point producer with 15.

Goalie Martin Jones, who is 4-2-0 with a 1.16 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage against the Coyotes, ranks tied for third in the NHL in games played with 15. 

Mikkel Boedker, who played 445 games for the Coyotes from 2008-16, has notched two goals and zero assists in his first season with the Sharks.

Center Tomas Hertl suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday's game at St. Louis and flew back to San Jose to undergo further testing on Friday. Hertl has notched seven goals vs. the Coyotes in 14 games. 

"Anytime you're sending a guy back early on a trip to get looked at, there's concern," Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer told reporters. "But you look around the league and everyone's dealing with injuries. A lot of injuries to key guys, so we have to continue on here." 

READ OFFICIAL GAME NOTES

BROADCAST INFO:

TV: FOX Sports Arizona 

Radio: KTAR News 92.3 FM

COYOTES PROJECTED LINEUP VS. SHARKS:

 

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Tonight's projected lineup. #HockeyFightsCancer#SJSvsARI preview: https://t.co/9S0R4vsuBU pic.twitter.com/pfqUKe4ysW

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