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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, December 28th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (13-20-2) at San Jose Sharks (25-12-0), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks wrap up a six-game homestand tonight when the Pacific Division-rival Phoenix Coyotes skate into HP Pavilion for a opener of a home-and-home series.

The Sharks have gone just 2-3-0 thus far during the stretch and are coming off a tough 4-3 loss to division-leading Anaheim on Tuesday. The Ducks' Chris Perry knocked home the eventual game-winning goal midway through the third period.

Christian Ehrhoff, Patrick Marleau and Steve Bernier all scored in the loss, San Jose's second in three games. Evgeni Nabokov recorded 26 saves for the Sharks.

San Jose currently owns the fourth seed in the Western Conference with 50 points but trails the powerhouse Ducks by 12 points in the Pacific standings.

The Sharks will visit the Coyotes on Saturday before concluding a brief two- game road swing Sunday at Dallas.

Phoenix sits in the Pacific basement with an unimpressive 28 points and has lost six of its last eight games. The Coyotes were dealt a heartbreaking 4-3 shootout defeat at Los Angeles on Tuesday, in which the Kings' Sean Avery sent the contest into overtime by scoring with only 38 seconds remaining in regulation.

Mikael Tellqvist made 34 saves for Phoenix but was beat for two goals during the shootout. The Coyotes failed to score on a pair of tries in the deciding phase.

Yanic Perrault had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who fell to a woeful 3-12-1 in road outings. Owen Nolan had an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to six games. The veteran wing has compiled two goals and six helpers during the run.

The Sharks have won both meetings with the Coyotes this season, including a 4-0 triumph at the Shark Tank on December 11. Phoenix did defeat San Jose in six of the eight games played between the squads in 2005-06, however.

The road team has posted a victory in five of the last six matchups in the series.

12/28 10:33:33 ET

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