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Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM
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San Jose Sharks vs. Phoenix Coyotes

The Skinny
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By Dave Vest
GLENDALE -- The Coyotes will try to catch Pacific Division-leading San Jose tonight when they host the Sharks at Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).

Phoenix (41-24-11), which has gone 8-1-1 in its past 10 games, will enter the game in fourth place in the Western Conference standings just two points behind San Jose.

• Click here to see the conference standings.

The Coyotes will be looking to build on consecutive victories over St. Louis and Columbus, and to snap a seven-game winless streak vs. the Sharks.

"They play a good style of hockey that obviously we have a tough time against,” Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin said. “They have some defensemen that are very active and they are a good puck possession team. We just have to manage the puck better ourselves."

Ilya Bryzgalov, who posted a 28-save shutout vs. Columbus on Thursday, will start in goal for the Coyotes.

Phoenix will attempt to reverse a recent trend and start the game strong; the Coyotes have scored zero goals in the first period of their past four games, and are averaging just 6.5 shots in those periods.

“We've got to have a good start and play a full 60 minutes because if we don't play a full 60 minutes against these guys they're going to give it to you,” said defenseman Keith Yandle, who ranks second among NHL defensemen with 58 points.

The Coyotes again will play minus center Martin Hanzal (lower-body injury) and defenseman Ed Jovanovski (upper-body injury). They will also play without forwards Lauri Korpikoski and Vernon Fiddler, who were injured in Thursday’s game vs. the Blue Jackets. Fiddler is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Korpikoski is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Photo by Getty Images.
San Jose (43-23-9) has posted a 22-4-4 record in its past 30 games but has failed to leave the Coyotes far behind in the standings.

"You would think with the kind of record we've had since (mid-January), we'd be running away with the division," forward Ryane Clowe told the Mercury News. "You wonder what you've got to do to open up some ground. But this is what we can do -- beat them.”

The Sharks have scored 26 goals in the past six games, including six twice and five once. San Jose has outscored the Coyotes 13-6 in three games this season, including 5-3 on Feb. 1 in a game Phoenix led 3-0.

While the Sharks rank third in the NHL in power-play efficiency at 23.4 percent, their penalty killing is 24th in the League at 79.8 percent.

Left wing Patrick Marleau leads San Jose with 33 goals. Only six other NHLers have lit the lamp more this season. Meanwhile, center Logan Couture is second among NHL rookies with 50 points, including 28 goals.

Goalie Antti Niemi has made 30 straight starts, going 21-4-4 with a 2.19 goals-against average and three shutouts.
Who's Hot
Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has posted a 6-1-0 record and a 1.29 goals-against average in his last seven starts. Two of those victories were shutouts.
Sharks center Joe Pavelski has notched four goals and 10 assists in the past six games. Ten of his 17 goals this season have been power-play goals.
Did You Know?
  • Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is one win shy of tying Bob Essensa for the most career wins in franchise history (129).  

  • Coyotes winger Ray Whitney is the last member of the original San Jose Sharks team still playing in the NHL.
  • This game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on KFYI 550 (AM). A link to the radio broadcast will be provided at at 6 p.m.

Click below to listen to members of the Coyotes talk about tonight's game.

• Keith Yandle

• Dave King

  Kent Huskins
  Scott Nichol
  Vernon Fiddler
  Martin Hanzal
  Ed Jovanovski
  Lauri Korpikoski
2010-2011 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 09 '11 PHX 1 at SJS 3 J. Pavelski
Apr 08 '11 SJS 3 at PHX 4 S. Doan
Mar 26 '11 SJS 4 at PHX 1 J. Pavelski
Feb 01 '11 PHX 3 at SJS 5 P. Marleau
Jan 17 '11 SJS 4 at PHX 2 L. Couture
Dec 23 '10 PHX 1 at SJS 4 J. Thornton
P. Marleau76333164-814119
J. Thornton74194564-14193
J. Pavelski68184361+122104
R. Clowe72243660+1110052
D. Heatley74243559+552115
L. Couture73302353+193988
D. Boyle7063844-24441
D. Setoguchi67201636-63134
I. White7222123-12410
J. Demers6922123+142800
T. Mitchell6091019+44001
B. Eager6251015+511001
M. Vlasic7421214+91601
J. Mayers723912+311100
J. Braun272911-1220
K. Huskins502810+81200
D. Murray671910+23200
B. Ferriero32549+8911
S. Nichol54437+04800
N. Wallin68347-34400
K. Wellwood29426+5000
J. McGinn49156-63300
J. McCarthy37224-8800
D. Joslin17134-2800
A. Desjardins12101-1000
M. Moore6101-1700
B. Mashinter12000-21200
F. McLaren9000-12200
T. Wingels5000-1000
A. Niemi5531-17-613215962.46.917
A. Niittymaki2312-6-3585812.57.900
A. Stalock11-0-0090.001.000
K. Yandle77114758+116630
S. Doan67183856+56395
R. Whitney70153954+12431
R. Vrbata74182846+420102
L. Korpikoski76182038+191804
E. Belanger77132336+93612
L. Stempniak77171835+51920
T. Pyatt72171229+102726
S. Upshall61161127+54222
M. Hanzal59161026+34875
K. Turris60111324+01201
A. Aucoin7031922+195000
V. Fiddler6661420+44402
M. Rozsival6061420+73823
W. Wolski3661016-61000
D. Morris7251116-45611
E. Jovanovski475914+33711
M. Boedker3141014+11600
D. Schlemko4131013+82400
R. Klesla564711+63600
S. Lepisto514711+73700
O. Ekman-Larsson4811011+32400
A. Ebbett28134-3401
B. MacLean11213+0212
P. Bissonnette44101+57100
N. Yonkman16011+53900
P. Prucha11011+0400
G. Stafford2000+0000
C. Summers2000-3400
R. Hollweg1000+0000
I. Bryzgalov6334-19-815619632.50.921
J. LaBarbera177-6-3485293.26.909
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