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Preview: Coyotes at Sharks

Mike Smith to start for Arizona; Melker Karlsson returns to San Jose lineup

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

COYOTES (8-10-2) at SHARKS (12-9-1)

10 p.m. ET; FS-A, CSN-CA, NHL.TV


Coyotes team scope

Goaltender Mike Smith will start Tuesday when the Arizona Coyotes will go for their third straight victory. The Coyotes also will try for their third win against the San Jose Sharks this season; Smith made 41 saves in Arizona's 3-2 overtime victory on Nov. 19 at Gila River Arena, and was out with a leg injury in the Coyotes' 3-2 win on Nov. 1, also at home. Smith is 11-7-2 with four shutouts, a 2.09 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage in 21 career games against San Jose. He has more shutouts and a higher save percentage against the Sharks than any other NHL team. "It's a team you've got to be ready to play against as a goalie or you can get exposed pretty quickly, especially at this arena," Smith said. "I can't really explain the numbers. I think it's just a team that I know I have to be at my best against in order to give our team a chance to win." Arizona, which began the season 1-5-0, have won three of their past four games, including back-to-back games against the Edmonton Oilers. "Limit our mistakes, play the right way and work hard," Coyotes forward Jamie McGinn, a former Shark, said of Arizona's winning formula.


Sharks team scope

Forward Melker Karlsson, an energizer and key penalty killer for San Jose, will return to the lineup against Arizona after missing seven games with an injury to his left ankle. "He's a big part of our penalty kill, which has stumbled a little bit the last few games," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "He helps in a lot of different areas." Karlsson was injured blocking a shot against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 12. He had an assist in San Jose's loss to Arizona on Nov. 1, but missed the rematch on Nov. 19. "They're a fast team," Karlsson said of the Coyotes. "When they get behind our [defensemen], they're hard to stop." Marc-Edouard Vlasic, the Sharks' top shutdown defenseman, will be in the lineup after missing the third period of a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday with an undisclosed injury. Defenseman Brenden Dillon also will play after missing the game against Anaheim with an illness. Martin Jones will make his third start against Arizona this season; he has allowed three goals in each of the first two games on a combined 56 shots. The Sharks had a combined 82 shots in those losses. "We've outshot them the last two games by quite a wide margin but haven't gotten results," DeBoer said.


Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Martin Hanzal -- Radim Vrbata

Jamie McGinn -- Christian Dvorak -- Anthony Duclair

Tobias Rieder -- Jordan Martinook -- Shane Doan

Lawson Crouse -- Laurent Dauphin -- Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Connor Murphy

Alex Goligoski -- Anthony DeAngelo

Michael Stone -- Luke Schenn

Mike Smith

Justin Peters

Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Jakob Chychrun

Injured: Brad Richardson (leg), Louis Domingue (lower body)


Sharks projected lineup

Patrick Marleau -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Joonas Donskoi -- Logan Couture -- Joel Ward

Mikkel Boedker -- Chris Tierney -- Kevin Labanc

Melker Karlsson -- Ryan Carpenter -- Micheal Haley

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Matt Nieto

Injured: Tomas Hertl (lower body), Tommy Wingels (lower body)


Status update

Wingels will miss his second straight game. ... Boedker was benched in the third period against Anaheim, but he's expected to remain in the lineup on the third line. ... Domingue will miss his third straight game and is on injured reserve, but he was on the ice Tuesday morning, and Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said he wouldn't be surprised if Domingue is able to serve as Smith's backup Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings. ... Chychrun, the 20th pick of the 2016 NHL Draft, will be a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game. "We'd kind of hoped he be back in before now, but we won a couple games so we're going with the same lineup," Tippett said.


Who's hot

Pavelski has six points (two goals, four assists) in a six-game point streak. … Burns has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past four games. ... Couture has three goals in his past four games, all on the power play. DeAngelo has one goal and three assists in his past five games.

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