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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 30th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (29-43-5) at San Jose Sharks (47-26-4), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks will attempt to maintain their recent home success when the Phoenix Coyotes invade HP Pavilion tonight for the final meeting between the Pacific Division members this season.

The Sharks recorded their fourth consecutive victory on home ice with Tuesday's 3-1 decision over Los Angeles. San Jose's string of success as the host comes at a good time, since the club plays four of its last five regular- season games at HP Pavilion.

Patrick Marleau scored two goals and Bill Guerin also lit the lamp for the Sharks, who received 24 saves between the pipes from Evgeni Nabokov.

San Jose secured itself a spot in the Western Conference playoffs with Tuesday's win, but what seed the Sharks will be in still in question. The team enters tonight's play tied with both Dallas and Minnesota for fifth place in the West and is also trails Anaheim by six points for the Pacific's top spot.

Phoenix has been out of the postseason picture for quite some time and will wrap up a woeful March tonight. The Coyotes are a horrid 2-10-1 for the month and suffered their third consecutive loss with Thursday's 4-3 setback to Colorado.

The Coyotes fell behind 4-0 after two periods, but did score three times during the third. Steven Reinprecht finished with a goal and an assist in the loss, while Daniel Carcillo had a pair of helpers for Phoenix.

Goaltender Curtis Joseph was pulled midway through the second period after letting in four goals on 14 shots. Mikael Tellqvist stopped all four chances he faced in relief.

The Coyotes have lost 10 of their last 11 road games, including five in a row, and are just 13-24-2 as the visitor this season.

In contrast, San Jose is an outstanding 22-12-3 at HP Pavilion in 2006-07.

The Sharks have also won five of the seven previous meetings between the teams this season, but the Coyotes have emerged victorious in five of their seven most recent visits to San Jose.

The road team has won eight of the last 11 encounters in this series.

03/30 10:49:00 ET


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