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Game #36 Preview: Arizona at San Jose

Darcy Kuemper starts and Taylor Hall makes his team debut as the Coyotes visit the Sharks

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #36: ARIZONA (19-12-4) at SAN JOSE (16-17-2)

8:30 PM MST SAP Center | San Jose, CA

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

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis)

Referees: Ian Walsh #29, Chris Lee #28

Linesmen: Darren Gibbs #66, Jonny Murray #95

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ARIZONA AT SAN JOSE

The Coyotes embark on a quick one-game trip tonight when they take on the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center, marking the second of the teams' four scheduled meetings this season.

San Jose will return to Gila River Arena on January 14; Arizona will make its second and final regular season visit to SAP Center on March 29.

Two days off, including a practice on Monday, followed the Coyotes' 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at Gila River Arena.

And of course, Monday's acquisition of Taylor Hall .

Hall from New Jersey to San Jose late Monday evening, joining the Coyotes for the team's optional morning skate this morning.

"I ended up getting here overnight," Hall said. "I got in to San Jose this morning at about 7:30, got to the rink for a little skate and will hopefully have a little nap this afternoon and be ready to go. I haven't played in over a week and I feel like it's a good time to get that first game out of the way. I'm here to contribute, I'm not here to be anyone else but one of the guys."

Head coach Rick Tocchet confirmed that Hall will, in fact, make his team debut tonight,

"We'll play him. He'll play. He's great off the rush, he's a give-and-go guy, he can play the flanks on both sides of the power play, he's got the breakaway speed, so we'll find some spots for him."

Hall will play on a line with Christian Dvorak and Phil Kessel .

"The thing with Taylor is, I want him to play his game, I don't want him to have to adjust to players, they'll adjust to him," Tocchet added.

The Sharks are coming off of a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday to snap a six-game losing streak (0-5-1).

Darcy Kuemper will make his 24th start of the season tonight. He comes into the night ranked second in the NHL in GAA (1.97) and SV% (.935).

Adin Hill has been recalled from the Tucson Roadrunners on an emergency basis to fill in for Antti Raanta , who is under the weather. Hill is expected to serve as Kuemper's back-up tonight.

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THREE THINGS

HAPPY TO VISIT: Starting tonight in San Jose, the Coyotes will play four of their next five games on the road. To date, the team has earned 25 of its 42 standings points in opposing buildings, posting an 11-4-3 record as visitors, the second-best road record in the NHL. They have earned points in 14 of their 18 road games played this season.

SPECIAL STRENGTHS: Following Alex Goligoski 's power play marker on Saturday night, the Coyotes' power play again ranks in the Top 10 in the NHL, their 20.8% success rate good for 10th in the league. The Coyotes have scored seven power play goals in their last seven games. Arizona's man advantage will have its work cut out for it tonight; San Jose enters the night with the best penalty kill in the NHL, killing off 88.1% of its penalties, including an alarming 92.9% kill-rate on home ice.

CLOSE CALLS: The Coyotes have played in 18 one-goal games this season, which is tied with the Washington Capitals for the second-most in the NHL. The Columbus Blue Jackets have played in a league-high 20 one-goal games. Arizona is 8-6-4 in such games; 10 of their 16 combined losses (including OT/SO) have been decided by a single goal.

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LAST TIME AROUND

NOVEMBER 30, 2019 - ARIZONA (2) vs. SAN JOSE (4)

The Coyotes got off to a thundering start in the previous meeting between these teams on November 30, a 4-2 loss to the Sharks at Gila River Arena.

Arizona struck for two goals in a :39 second span to take a 2-0 lead just 2:12 into the contest courtesy goals from Nick Schmaltz and Derek Stepan . San Jose, though, responded to score four unanswered goals, including one late in the first, two in the second, and another in the third.

Antti Raanta stopped 26 of the 29 shots he faced in the loss.

Arizona is 0-1-0 against San Jose this season.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

TWENTY-FIVE (25)

New acquisition Taylor Hall led the New Jersey Devils in scoring at the time of Monday's trade, having registered 25 points (6G, 19A) in 30 games, which also leads all current players on the Coyotes roster.

Up until the trade, Clayton Keller (7G, 16A) and Nick Schmaltz (6G, 17A) co-led the Coyotes in scoring with 23 points apiece.

Keller has 10 points (3G, 7A) in his last 12 games.

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QUICK HITS

  • Nick Schmaltz has six points (2G, 4A) in eight career games against the Sharks.
  • Logan Couture leads San Jose in scoring with 32 points (11G, 21A).
  • Clayton Keller leads the Coyotes in road scoring with 13 points (5G, 8A).
  • The Sharks are 9-0-1 this year when allowing less than two goals in a game.
  • Christian Dvorak is two points shy (40G, 58A) of 100 in his career.
  • Arizona owns a 64-64-8-12 all-time record against San Jose.

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Lead Photo Credit: Brandon Magnus - Getty Images // Taylor Hall Photo Credit: River Demson - Arizona Coyotes // Footer Photo Credit: Brandon Magnus - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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