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Game Preview: Coyotes at Sharks

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

The Coyotes will play their sixth and final preseason game on Saturday night vs. the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Arizona time.

Fans can listen to the game on the Sharks Radio Network. 

Arizona has posted a 1-3-1 record thus far in the preseason.

"It's about getting better, it's not about wins and losses in the preseason," center Derek Stepan said after Friday's practice. "No one ever remembers what the preseason record was in December. I'm more worried about the process and not so worried about the results."

Video: Coyotes Discuss Team's Approach to Preseason Finale

Nevertheless, Arizona has lost four straight preseason games (0-3-1), including a 4-1 decision vs. Los Angeles on Thursday night at the Staples Center.

"I didn't mind it," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "Obviously there's certain things I didn't like, some executions. You've got to be able to make plays. I put a lot of onus on the guy with the puck and you have to be able to execute because we want to play a fast style ... But there was some good stuff out of some guys. I thought we broke out a lot better than we did at home against San Jose (last Saturday) so that's a start."

Rookie Clayton Keller scored the lone goal in Thursday's loss and leads the team in goals (three) and points (six) this preseason. He has been skating on the top line with Stepan and Max Domi.

"It's funny," Stepan said. "I talked about it leading up to it. Chemistry is hard to come by. You don't just strap on the stuff and the chemistry just works. Sometimes it doesn't work. But we've built some really good chemistry ... We've done some good things as a line. We communicate well and I think these guys are super-skilled guys. My job is to just try to get it to them and let them kind of make their plays. I'm going to chip in as much as I can with the veteran, leadership stuff and let them kind of create the offense."

Video: Stepan Previews Preseason Finale vs. SJS

Arizona has allowed 18 goals in the past four preseason games. 

"I think we have a lot to work on here, but it's all about progress here, especially in the preseason with a new coach and a lot of new faces, so it's going to take a little while for everybody to get on the same page," defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. 

Here's Arizona's roster for Saturday's game:

FORWARDS: Nick Cousins, Lawson Crouse, Max Domi, Christian Dvorak, Anthony Duclair, Christian Fischer, Clayton Keller, Jordan Martinook, Brendan Perlini, Tobias Rieder, Derek Stepan, Dylan Strome. 

DEFENSEMEN: Adam Clendening, Kevin Connauton, Jason Demers, Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Luke Schenn

GOALIES: Louis Domingue, Marek Langhamer

Louis Domingue will start in goal yet again in place of Antti Raanta, who has played just one preseason game. Raanta is nursing a lower-body injury. So, too, is defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson,who gingerly practiced with teammates for 40 minutes on Friday, but, like Raanta, will sit out the preseason finale.

"He needs a few more of those kind of practices, pushing and shoving and stuff like that," Tocchet said. "So we'll see how he goes. We've got three or four or five practices before the regular season starts."

Video: Schenn Previews Preseason Finale vs. SJS

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