NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, January 12th
(All times eastern)
San Jose Sharks (29-10-7) at Phoenix Coyotes (26-15-5), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes have lost three straight at Jobing.com
Arena since having their franchise-record home winning streak halted. Tonight
they face the club that ended that burst, as Phoenix hosts the San Jose Sharks
for the second time in two weeks.
The Coyotes recently enjoyed a team-record 10-game home winning streak that
lasted from late November until a loss to the Sharks on December 31. That
setback to San Jose was the first of three straight at home now for the
Coyotes, who are 0-1-2 in that span.
Phoenix lost at home to Detroit two days after the loss to San Jose, then
split two games on the road before Saturday's 5-4 shootout setback to the New
York Islanders to open a six-game homestand.
The Coyotes trailed 4-1 before scoring three times during a 3:43 span in the
third period. Paul Bissonnette started the rally before Taylor Pyatt and Peter
Mueller notched power-play goals. Mueller's tally was the tying goal, just his
second marker of the season and first since November 5.
"We put ourselves in a hole, but I like the way we dug ourselves out," said
Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "I heard one of the players say 'Let's bail
each other out here,' and we came out and played a heck of a third period."
Ilya Bryzgalov started the contest but allowed four goals on 15 shots before
getting pulled in favor of Jason LaBarbera. He stopped all 15 shots he faced
the rest of the way before getting beat three times in the six-round shootout.
Ed Jovanovski also scored in the loss, but was ejected in the first period for
an elbow major delivered to New York's John Tavares. Jovanovski was suspended
for two games on Monday, marking the second time this season he has been
While Phoenix will now be without one of its top defenders, it is expected to
get its leading goal scorer back. Forward Scottie Upshall, who has 14 goals on
the season, has missed the last three games due to an upper-body injury
suffered versus Detroit but is slated to return tonight.
That is good news for a Phoenix club that is 2-0-2 versus the Sharks this year
and has won five of its last seven as the host in the series.
San Jose has split four contests since an eight-game winning streak,
rebounding from a loss to Detroit on Saturday with last night's 2-1 win over
Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves, while both Dany Heatley and Dan Boyle scored.
"We were a little more detailed. It still wasn't easy," said Sharks head coach
Todd McLellan. "[The Kings] are a very good hockey club. They came at us very
hard in the third period. They got a lot of momentum off the power play, but I
thought we were better along the boards. We won more battles."
Heatley's goal was his 26th of the season, fifth most in the NHL. Teammate
Patrick Marleau failed to score for the first time in five games and is tied
with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the most goals in the NHL with 29.
The Sharks, who lead the Pacific Division by eight points over the Coyotes,
are one point back of the Blackhawks for the most in the NHL.
San Jose has also won four straight and seven of its last eight on the road.
01/12 10:52:43 ET