Over the past eight games, the Phoenix Coyotes have followed the same sequence - a loss followed by a win. The surging San Jose Sharks are following a much simpler pattern.
The Coyotes will try to snap the seven-game winning streak of the visiting Sharks when the Pacific Division rivals meet for the first time this season on Sunday.
The Sharks have a league-best 13-2 record. San Jose also has a 9-1-2 mark in its last 12 meetings with the Coyotes, outscoring Phoenix 46-20 in those games.
The Sharks got a little luck to keep their win streak alive in a 2-1 victory Saturday against the Dallas Stars.
With time winding down, Stars goalie Marty Turco made a bad clearing attempt with his stick, passing the puck against San Jose winger Patrick Marleau's skate.
Marleau gathered it in and pushed it past Turco with 28.3 seconds left.
"It came at the right time, I guess," said Marleau, who also had an assist and leads the Sharks with 16 points. "He was out playing the puck a lot tonight, making some pretty good plays, and we were just on the fortunate end of the miscue."
After consecutive shutouts in October, backup goalie Brian Boucher made 26 saves and remained unbeaten (3-0-0). However, Boucher yielded his first goal of the season to snap a 147-minute, 5-second scoreless streak dating to last season.
Boucher will likely start again for Evgeni Nabokov, who remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury and won't make the trip. Nabokov, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, has a league-leading 10 victories this season after going 46-21-8 with a career-low 2.14 goals-against average last year.
Boucher is 1-2-2 against the Coyotes but has given up six goals in his past three starts versus Phoenix. Nabokov had a 7-1-1 record in his last nine starts against the Coyotes with a 1.33 GAA.
After suffering its first shutout of the season Thursday at Vancouver, Phoenix (6-6-0) rebounded to top the struggling Florida Panthers 4-1 on Saturday.
Coyotes rookie Mikkel Boedker registered his first career two-goal game, and Olli Jokinen had a goal and an assist against his former team.
"We really started attacking the net in the second period, and that was the difference," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "It turned things around for us and I just thought our team played really well."
Phoenix hasn't won consecutive games since it started the season 2-0.
Jokinen has recorded a point in four of his last five games to take over the team lead with 13, but he has just three in his last 12 games against San Jose. Phoenix captain Shane Doan has scored in each of his last four meetings with the Sharks.
Ilya Bryzgalov improved to 5-5-0 by making 26 saves Saturday. He has a 3-2 mark in his past five starts with a 1.61 GAA.
Bryzgalov also has a 5-4-1 record against San Jose but has won three of his last four starts versus the Sharks.