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Preview: Sharks at Coyotes

San Jose looks for spark from lineup change; Arizona stays with Mike Smith in goal

by Jerry Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

SHARKS (34-18-6) at COYOTES (20-29-7)

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

 

Sharks team scope

The San Jose Sharks are looking for a spark to snap them out of a 1-1-4 funk. They recalled forward Nikolay Goldobin from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League, and he is expected to make his 2016-17 season debut on a line with Tomas Hertl and Joel Ward. Goldobin, San Jose's first-round pick (No. 27) in the 2014 NHL Draft, hasn't played in the NHL since Nov. 22, 2015. The Sharks also recalled defenseman Mirco Mueller and forward Marcus Sorensen from the Barracuda, while sending down forward Timo Meier and defenseman Tim Heed. Neither Mueller nor Sorensen is expected to play Saturday. Backup Aaron Dell will play after Martin Jones allowed six goals on 22 shots in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday. Center Joe Thornton needs three assists to become the 13th player in NHL history with 1,000. Defenseman Brent Burns remains red hot with 10 goals and 16 assists in the past 20 games. "I don't even know if you call him a defenseman anymore. He's like a middle rover." Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "He's a heck of a player. He's all over the ice and he has an impact in every area he plays."

 

Coyotes team scope

The Arizona Coyotes are last in the Pacific Division but will try to beat the defending Western Conference champions for the fourth time in five games. Arizona (3-0-1) is the only team with three wins against San Jose. All four games were decided by one goal. "We have great goaltending in each of the games," Tippett said. "They are a team that generates a lot of chances. The games have been tight, overtimes and shootouts and we've found a way to win." Jamie McGinn returns after he was a healthy scratch for a 5-3 road win against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Defenseman Jakob Chychrun returns after being scratched for the past four games. Mike Smith has allowed six goals in three wins against the Sharks this season and is 12-7-3 with a 2.08 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage with a career-best four shutouts against San Jose. Marek Langhamer will back up for a second straight game as Louis Domingue deals with a lower-body injury. Arizona's offense continues to improve. After scoring four or more goals in seven of their first 51 games, the Coyotes have scored at least four goals in four of the past five games and five goals in two of the past three. Since Max Domi returned from a two-month injury on Feb. 2, Arizona is averaging 3.71 goals a game. Center Christian Dvorak has five of his nine goals in the past seven games.

 

Sharks projected lineup

Joe Pavelski -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Nikolay Goldobin -- Tomas Hertl -- Joel Ward

Patrick Marleau -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Melker Karlsson -- Chris Tierney -- Micheal Haley

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: Mirco Mueller, Marcus Sorensen

Injured: Joonas Donskoi (upper body), Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist)

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Max Domi -- Martin Hanzal -- Radim Vrbata

Tobias Rieder -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Josh Jooris

Brendan Perlini -- Christian Dvorak -- Shane Doan

Jamie McGinn -- Jordan Martinook -- Ryan White

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Luke Schenn

Alex Goligoski -- Michael Stone

Jakob Chychrun -- Connor Murphy

Mike Smith

Marek Langhamer

Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Peter Holland

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

 

Status report

Chychrun replaces Connauton and will play with Murphy on defense. McGinn will play on the fourth line with Martinook and White. Crouse will miss his fourth straight game and Tippett said he might go on injured reserve. Domingue is day-to-day.

 

Who's hot

Marleau has eight goals and five assists in the past 11 games. Pavelski has four goals and 10 points in the past eight games. … Ekman-Larsson has six assists during a five-game point streak. Martinook has three goals and five points during a three-game point streak.

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