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Sharks at Coyotes preview

San Jose goes for 11th win in 13; Arizona seeks point in 10th straight against Pacific foe

by Alan Robinson / Independent Correspondent

SHARKS (14-12-1) AT COYOTES (15-8-4)



The Game

The San Jose Sharks go for their 11th victory in 13 games when they visit the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

The Sharks are 10-2-0 in their past 12 games after a five-game losing streak.

Goalie Aaron Dell could start after Martin Jones made 33 saves in a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday.

The Coyotes will try to win for the seventh time in 11 games. They're 4-1-2 in their past seven games and 6-2-2 in their past 10. 

Goalie Antti Raanta, who did not play in the past two games because of an illness, is expected to start after Darcy Kuemper made 37 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss at the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. It marked the ninth consecutive Pacific Division game Arizona has gained at least a point (6-0-3).


Players to watch

Sharks center Logan Couture has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past nine games.

Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski has five points (one goal, four assists) in a three-game point streak.


They said it

"They're big points [in division games]. We know how important these games are to keep moving up. To be in the playoff picture is one of the things we've talked about." -- Sharks forward Patrick Marleau

"It's a big game for us. Any time you go against division teams, it's a meaningful game. They're playoff-like games. Both teams are on a back-to-back, so we've got to be ready to go." -- Coyotes forward Conor Garland


Sharks projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Logan Couture -- Barclay Goodrow

Timo Meier -- Tomas Hertl -- Patrick Marleau

Marcus Sorensen -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Noah Gregor -- Dylan Gambrell

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Erik Karlsson

Radim Simek -- Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon -- Mario Ferraro

Tim Heed

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: None

Injured: Dalton Prout (upper body), Lukas Radil (undisclosed)


Coyotes projected lineup

Christian Dvorak -- Nick Schmaltz -- Conor Garland

Barrett Hayton -- Carl Soderberg - - Phil Kessel

Clayton Keller -- Derek Stepan -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Christian Fischer

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Ilya Lyubushkin -- Jordan Oesterle

Antti Raanta 

Darcy Kuemper 

Scratched: Aaron Ness

Injured: Lawson Crouse (upper body), Niklas Hjalmarsson (lower body)


Status report

Suomela took a hard hit during the third period on Friday and isn't expected to play. … The Coyotes traded goalie Eric Comrie to the Detroit Red Wings for defenseman Vili Saarijarvi on Saturday.


Stat pack

The Sharks have allowed two goals or fewer in each of their past 44 wins, an NHL record. The mark previously was held by the Pittsburgh Penguins, with 43 straight from Feb. 21, 2012-Oct. 17, 2013.  … Dell is 4-1-1 with a 2.53 goals-against average against Arizona. … Erik Karlsson has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past three games. … Each of the Coyotes' past three games has gone to a shootout (1-0-2).

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