NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 20th
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (16-16-0) at San Jose Sharks (18-11-4), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes will conclude their season-long six-
game road trip tonight with a stop in San Jose to battle the Sharks at HP
Regardless of tonight's results, the swing will go down as a good one for the
Coyotes. Phoenix is 4-1-0 on the trek to improve its overall road record to
11-8-0. The team next plays four in a row at home.
Phoenix's last four games have been against Atlantic Division residents, and
after losing to the New York Islanders on December 13, the Coyotes downed the
Devils, New York Rangers and Flyers in succession.
The win over Philadelphia came on Tuesday, as Peter Mueller scored 6:25 into
the third period to lift Phoenix to the 3-2 win. The Coyotes trailed 2-0 late
in the second period before getting goals from Keith Yandle and Fredrik
Sjostrom, with Sjostrom's tally coming shorthanded.
Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves -- including a big stop on the Flyers' Danny
Briere on a breakaway -- to earn the victory.
Phoenix will also be trying to halt an eight-game losing streak to San Jose
tonight, and have been shutout in their last three games against the club. The
Coyotes dropped their final four tests against the Sharks last season, and the
first four of this year, including the last three by a 12-0 margin.
Phoenix hasn't scored in just over 230 minutes against San Jose.
The Coyotes have also lost four straight and five of six in San Jose, having
not won there since December 28 of 2006.
Evgeni Nabokov has backstopped each one of those three shutouts against
Phoenix. He is trying to become the first netminder to post four in a row
against one team since Dominik Hasek did it against the New York Rangers from
December of 1997 through October of 1998 while with Buffalo.
The Sharks come into this test having split a home-and-home set with Pacific
Division-rival Anaheim. After getting a 2-1 shootout win in Anaheim on Sunday,
San Jose was defeated 2-0 at home on Tuesday.
The club failed to get a shot past Ducks netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who
made 20 saves and stopped the Sharks on all five of their power-play chances.
Meanwhile, Nabokov allowed two goals on 16 shots for San Jose, which failed to
earn at least a point for just the fourth time in its last 18 games (11-4-3).
San Jose, which is two points back of first-place Dallas in the standings, is
6-8-2 at home and plays the middle portion of a three-game residency tonight.
The stand concludes with another visit from Anaheim on Saturday.
12/20 10:46:52 ET