Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Arizona Coyotes

Game #28 Preview: Arizona vs. San Jose

Coyotes see the Sharks for the first time this season as they play final home game until December 10

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

GAME #28: ARIZONA (15-8-4) vs. SAN JOSE (14-12-1)

6:00 PM MST - Gila River Arena | Glendale, AZ

TV: Fox Sports Arizona (Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh, Jody Jackson)

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis, Paul Bissonnette)

Referees: Trevor Hanson #14, T.J. Luxmore #21

Linesmen: Ryan Gibbons #58, Brandon Gawryletz #64

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

ARIZONA VS. SAN JOSE

The Coyotes host the San Jose Sharks tonight at Gila River Arena, marking the first of four scheduled meetings between the teams this season.

Arizona will visit San Jose's SAP Center on December 17 and March 29; the Sharks will return to Gila River Arena on January 29.

Coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday, the Coyotes will play their final home game tonight before venturing out on a four-game Midwest road trip. They are 7-5-1 at Gila River Arena this season.

San Jose is coming off a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday afternoon. The Sharks have won four of their last five games and are 10-2-0 over their last 12 games, recovering from a start to the season that saw them drop 11 of their first 15 contests.

Phil Kessel will tonight play in his 802nd consecutive game, San Jose's Patrick Marleau his 812th. Kessel's games played streak is the third longest active streak in the league, Marleau's is second; both players are behind former Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, who this evening is expected to play in his 823rd straight game - the league's longest active streak.

Antti Raanta , who skated yesterday upon further recovery from the illness that originally kept him out of Wednesday's game, is expected to start tonight should he be feeling well enough, though there has been no confirmation.

Lawson Crouse was said to be "very close to playing" before Friday's game against the Golden Knights. It is unclear whether or not he will return to the lineup tonight. Forward Michael Chaput was recalled from the Tucson Roadrunners this morning and is available if needed.

Rick Tocchet will address the media two hours prior to tonight's game for any details in regard to lineup specifics.

The Coyotes acquired 22-year-old right-handed defenseman Vile Saarijarvi from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for goaltender Eric Comrie on Saturday morning. The third-round selection (#73 overall) from the 2015 NHL Draft has 125 AHL games experience and will report to Tucson.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THREE THINGS

MORE OR LESS: The Sharks are 8-0-0 this season in games when they allow two or fewer goals. San Jose has won each of its past 44 games when allowing less than two goals in a game, which is an NHL record. The Coyotes have been held to two or fewer goals in nine of their 27 games played thus far and are winless (0-7-2) in such games. Arizona is 15-1-2 this year when scoring more than two goals in a game.

FOR THE TAKING: The Coyotes enter the night just one point back of the Edmonton Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division, who host the Vancouver Canucks tonight at 8:00 PM MST. Should the Coyotes win in any fashion and the Oilers lose in regulation this evening, Arizona would claim the top spot in the division for the first time this year. The Oilers currently own the tiebreaker with 12 regulation wins versus the Coyotes' nine; should the teams finish the night tied in the points category, Edmonton would remain atop.

FOLLOWING A LOSS: For the most part, the Coyotes have avoided extended skids this season, having dropped games in consecutive fashion only twice this year. They suffered two-straight losses to begin the year (10/3 at ANA, 10/5 vs BOS) and a three-game losing streak during the first week of November (11/5 at CGY, 11/7 vs CBJ, 11/9 vs MIN). The Coyotes have posted an 8-3-0 record in games following losses this year.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

LAST TIME AROUND

FEBRUARY 2, 2019 - Arizona (2) at SAN JOSE (3) F/OT

Conor Garland broke open the scoring just prior to the game's midway mark in the previous meeting between these clubs on February 2 of last season, a 3-2 overtime loss at San Jose's SAP Center.

The Sharks responded to Garland's goal with two of their own in a :44 second span to take a 2-1 lead. Josh Archibald tied the game for the Coyotes with 12:50 left in regulation.

Brent Burns scored the overtime game-winning goal with 1:46 remaining in the extra frame.

Darcy Kuemper stopped 32 of the 25 shots he faced.

Arizona finished with a 2-1-1 record against San Jose last season.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NUMBER TO KNOW

SIXTEEN (16)

With his primary assist on Jakob Chychrun 's game-tying goal Friday night in Vegas, Alex Goligoski is now up to 16 points (2G, 14A) on the year - currently on pace for 49.

The 34-year-old defenseman has twice eclipsed the 40-point mark during his 12-plus year NHL career, registering 46 (14G, 32A) in 2010-11 with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars and 42 (6G, 36A) in 2013-14 with Dallas.

He leads the Coyotes in blocked shots (60) and is tied for the team lead in plus/minus with a +10 rating. Goligoski enters the night riding a season-long three-game point streak (1G, 4A) and has 12 points (3G, 9A) in 36 career games against the Sharks - including two goals during the 2017-18 campaign.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

QUICK HITS

  • The Coyotes' 2.26 goals-against per game leads the NHL.
  • Antti Raanta has not allowed a five-on-five goal in 127:49.
  • The Sharks' 90.7 PK% ranks first in the NHL.
  • Derek Stepan is one assist away for 300 in his NHL career.
  • Logan Couture leads the Sharks in assists (20) and points (26).
  • Christian Dvorak leads the NHL with a 60.7 FO%.
  • Arizona owns a 64-63-8-12 all-time record against San Jose.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Lead Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: NBCSN California

View More