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Sharks at Coyotes preview

Thornton to climb NHL all-time games played list for San Jose; Hill makes fifth straight start for Arizona

by Alan Robinson / Correspondent

SHARKS (14-11-5) at COYOTES (13-12-2)



The Game

Center Joe Thornton is expected to play his 1,515th NHL game to move into sole possession of 18th place on the League's all-time list when the San Jose Sharks visit the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

Thornton, who has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past four games for the Sharks, is tied with Steve Yzerman for 18th place.

Thornton also is two assists from tying Marcel Dionne (1,040) for 10th place on the NHL all-time list.

San Jose is 2-1-0 in its past three games following a four-game losing streak (0-3-1).

Rookie goalie Adin Hill will make his fifth consecutive start for the Coyotes; he's 4-1-0 with a 1.16 goals-against average and .956 save percentage in his past five games (four starts).

Arizona will try to win for the fifth time in six games after a four-game losing streak (0-3-1).


Players to watch

Sharks forward Joe Pavelski has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his six games.

Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past four games.


They said it

"We're getting too relaxed. One-goal leads, two-goal leads. Teams are coming back on us because we're not finishing, finishing them off. I think we need to start playing for each other a little bit more. I think we're a little too relaxed. We need to ramp up the intensity." -- Sharks forward Evander Kane

"Obviously they've got [defenseman Erik] Karlsson and [defenseman Brent] Burns on the back end who can skate and make plays. … We've got to be ready for a high-speed game and making sure we're ready from the start." -- Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz


Sharks projected lineup

Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Joe Pavelski

Timo Meier -- Joe Thornton -- Marcus Sorensen

Evander Kane -- Antti Suomela -- Joonas Donskoi

Melker Karlsson -- Barclay Goodrow -- Kevin Labanc

Radim Simek -- Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon -- Erik Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: Tim Heed, Lukas Radil, Joakim Ryan

Injured: None


Coyotes projected lineup

Alex Galchenyuk -- Nick Schmaltz -- Clayton Keller

Conor Garland -- Derek Stepan -- Christian Fischer

Richard Panik -- Brad Richardson -- Josh Archibald

Lawson Crouse -- Nick Cousins -- Mario Kempe

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Kevin Connauton

Jakob Chychrun -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Alex Goligoski -- Jordan Oesterle

Adin Hill

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Ilya Lyubushkin, Michael Bunting

Injured: Michael Grabner (eye), Vinnie Hinostroza (lower body), Antti Raanta (lower body), Darcy Kuemper (lower body), Jason Demers (lower body), Christian Dvorak (upper body)


Status report

Hinostroza is week to week after being injured in a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday. … Garland is expected to make his NHL debut. 


Stat pack

Couture has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games. … Keller has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past four games. The Coyotes have scored two goals or fewer in eight of their past 11 games.

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