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Goaltending focus when Coyotes visit Sharks

All eyes on San Jose's Jones, Arizona's Domingue

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

COYOTES (25-23-6) at SHARKS (28-20-5)

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET; FS-A, CSN-CA, NHL.TV

SAN JOSE -- No. 1 goaltender Martin Jones will return for the San Jose Sharks when they face the Arizona Coyotes and rookie goalie Louis Domingue at SAP Center on Saturday night. 

The Sharks own second place in the Pacific Division with 61 points, eight behind the Los Angeles Kings and one ahead of the Anaheim Ducks. Arizona, coming off a 4-1 victory against the Calgary Flames on Friday night at Gila River Arena, trails Anaheim by four points.

"I think you're in the sprint to the finish line here," said Sharks coach Peter DeBoer, who expects to face a "desperate" Coyotes team. "Everyone is looking at the standings. On our end, we want to separate ourselves from teams like Arizona as much as possible, and on their end, they have to start closing the gap on the teams above them. This is a playoff-type game atmosphere for both teams. It will be a real good test for us. They won a big game [Friday] night and played really well. It will be a good matchup." 

Domingue made 26 saves against the Flames, helping Arizona end its five-game winless streak. He will start for the 18th time in Arizona's past 20 games. He's 10-7-4 with a 2.53 goals-against average and .917 save percentage, but has cooled off considerably after a 7-2-2 start. 

San Jose suffered a 6-5 shootout loss Thursday at home against Calgary. The Sharks spotted the Flames a 4-1 first-period lead, rallied to grab a 5-4 lead in the third period, but couldn't hold on. 

Sharks backup goaltender Alex Stalock gave up five goals on 22 shots against Calgary, but Jones had a 33-save shutout against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday and is 7-2-1 in his past 10 starts. 

Jones is 25-15-3 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .915 save percentage this season. He's 2-0-0 in for his career against Arizona with a 0.50 GAA and .980 save percentage. 

Jones gave up one goal on 24 shots in San Jose's 3-1 road victory against Arizona on Jan. 21. Domingue allowed two goals on 22 shots. 

"I was really impressed with the young goalie," DeBoer said during San Jose's optional morning skate at Sharks Ice. "He handles the puck as well as anyone I've seen in the league. He's a big guy." 

Getting off to a fast start will be job No. 1 for the Sharks against Arizona after their nightmare first period against Calgary. 

"We kind of gave ourselves that first period [against Calgary] of not playing to our standards last game," Sharks forward Tommy Wingels said. "So that's over with. We know how to execute again. We got to find a way to come out strong tonight, and I'm certain we will." 

San Jose's third line of center Logan Couture, Wingels and Joonas Donskoi will try to build off a tremendous game against the Flames. Couture had a goal and three assists. Donskoi had a goal and an assist, and Wingels added a goal. 

"We're a line that can contribute and be a difference maker," Wingels said. "We're rolled out as a third line, matched up against other third lines. We see that as an opportunity for us to maybe swing the game. We did a good job of it last game, and I think moving forward here we need to continue to do it." 

Here are the projected lineups: 

COYOTES 

Tobias Rieder - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker  
Max Domi - Martin Hanzal - Anthony Duclair  
Jordan Martinook - Brad Richardson - Shane Doan  

Kyle Chipchura - Tyler Gaudet  
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Connor Murphy  
Klas Dahlbeck - Zbynek Michalek  
Nicklas Grossman - Michael Stone  

Louis Domingue  
Anders Lindback  

Injured: Brad Gordon (upper body), Mike Smith (abdominal surgery), Joe Vitale (fractured orbital bone) 
Scratched: Jarred Tinordi, Viktor Tikhonov, Kevin Connauton  

SHARKS 

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski  
Matt Nieto - Patrick Marleau - Joel Ward  
Joonas Donskoi - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels 
Melker Karlsson - Chris Tierney - Dainius Zubrus  

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun  
Paul Martin - Brent Burns  
Matt Tennyson - Dylan DeMelo  

Martin Jones  
Alex Stalock 

Injured: Brenden Dillon (upper body) 
Scratched: Mike Brown, Mirco Mueller 

Status update: Dillon skated again Saturday but will miss his second straight game. Tennyson will fill in for Dillon again. "I felt pretty good, so I'll just try and keep it going," Tennyson said. ... The Coyotes, who did not have a morning skate, have used seven defensemen the past two games.

Who's hot: Couture has seven points (2-5-7) over his past three games. ... Marleau has a two-game goal streak. ... Thornton has three goals and three assists over his past four games. ... Doan had two goals and an assist against Calgary. ... Ekman-Larsson had the game-winning goal and two assists against the Flames.

 

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