NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 15th (All times eastern)
San Jose Sharks (42-25-3) at Phoenix Coyotes (28-38-3), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes take aim at their first win streak in nearly two months, while the San Jose Sharks will attempt to improve their playoff positioning when the Pacific Division inhabitants collide tonight at Jobing.com Arena.
Phoenix managed to put an end to a five-game slide with Monday's 4-0 home victory over Philadelphia. Mikael Tellqvist made 24 saves to earn his second shutout of the season.
Owen Nolan had a first-period goal and also nearly knocked the Flyers' Martin Biron out of the contest with a wicked slap shot that struck the goaltender on the side of the neck. Biron was dazed momentarily but did remain in the game.
Niko Kapanen compiled a goal and an assist while Mathias Tjarnqvist and Daniel Carcillo also scored for the Coyotes.
Phoenix, which has not won back-to-back outings since posting a pair of road wins over Los Angeles and Colorado from January 20-26, will be playing the third test of a five-game homestand this evening. The club completes the swing Saturday against Colorado.
The Coyotes are 15-16-2 at Jobing.com Arena for the season.
San Jose enters this matchup locked in a three-way tie with Dallas and Minnesota for the fifth spot in the Western Conference postseason race. The Sharks have won four of their last five games and are coming off their most lopsided victory of the season, a 7-1 dismantling of Chicago Tuesday at HP Pavilion.
Bill Guerin, who had failed to register a point in six games since being acquired from St. Louis at the trade deadline, broke out in a big way for San Jose. The All-Star wing amassed his eighth career hat trick and added an assist to lead the rout.
Chicago scored with 3:30 remaining in the contest to thwart Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov's bid for a fourth shutout in five games. The veteran Russian, who stopped 18 of 19 shots on Tuesday, has yielded only three goals over that span.
San Jose has won four of the six matchups between the teams so far in 2006-07 and is 4-1-0 in its five most recent visits to Phoenix.
03/15 10:57:33 ET