GAME: San Jose Sharks (21-11-11-4) at Phoenix Coyotes (16-14-13-2).
TIME: Wednesday, 9 p.m. EST.
The San Jose Sharks, seeking their fourth straight win, try to increase
their lead over one of the teams chasing them in the Pacific Division as they
open a home-and-home series with the Phoenix Coyotes.
While San Jose has matched its second-longest winning streak of the season
at three, Phoenix has gone without a victory in its last four to fall into
fourth place in the division -- 10 points behind the first-place Sharks.
San Jose, which won a season-best five in a row from Nov. 21-30, extended
its current win streak Monday with a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings --
co-owners of the league's best record.
Evgeni Nabokov made 34 saves and Niko Dimitrakos had a goal and an assist as
the Sharks posted their third straight win against a first-place team following
victories over Vancouver and Colorado.
"When you consider the teams that we just beat, it's certainly
gratifying," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "It builds your confidence that
you can play against anybody. I still think we give up too many scoring
chances, and there's a lot of improvement to make ... but our record speaks for
San Jose has won 11 of 15, earning at least a point in 13 of those games
while surging to a healthy lead in the Pacific.
Phoenix skated to a 3-3 tie on the road with Detroit on Friday to fall to
0-2-2 in its last four games. The Coyotes had won a season-high five in a row
prior to the skid.
Phoenix held a 3-2 lead late in the game, but Detroit was able to salvage a
point when it scored on a goal-mouth scramble with 1:44 left in regulation.
"It squirted loose and that's unfortunate," Phoenix coach Bob Francis
said. "You come to Detroit and get a point, and you can't argue with that.
Unfortunately, we had the lead and let it get away."
Coyotes goalie Brian Boucher went to 0-1-2 since having his record shutout
streak end with a 1-1 tie against the Atlanta Thrashers on Jan. 11.
"It was an exciting game, but we didn't come here to put on a show,"
Boucher said. "We came here to get two points, and we were (1:44) away from
The Sharks and Coyotes conclude the home-and-home set in San Jose on