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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, November 2nd (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (9-3-2) at San Jose Sharks (10-1-2), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks lost for only the third time this season in their last game and will try to rebound when they host the Phoenix Coyotes in Saturday's Pacific Division clash at the SAP Center.
San Jose has a stout 10-1-2 record this season, but the club ended its terrific month of October with Wednesday's overtime loss in Los Angeles. All three of the Sharks' losses this season came in the club's last seven games, as San Jose is 4-1-2 over its past six games after starting the campaign on a six-game winning streak.
The Sharks held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in Wednesday's game against the rival Kings, but they couldn't hold any of those advantages. L.A. tied it on Justin Williams' power-play goal in the third period to force OT and Anze Kopitar also scored on the man advantage to win the game for the Kings in the extra session.
L.A. finished the game 2-for-6 on the power play, while the Sharks scored once on four opportunities with the man advantage.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, who had won two in a row since their only regulation loss of the season last Thursday at Boston. Antti Niemi had 19 saves in the loss, which dropped San Jose to 3-1-1 on its five-game road trip.
"When we have the lead we should be able to shut it down," said San Jose coach Todd McLellan.
The Sharks are beginning the month of November on a three-game homestand and also are set to host Buffalo and Vancouver during the stay in Northern California.
San Jose is a perfect 5-0-0 as the home club this season and has taken two straight, four of five and 10 of its last 12 home meetings against the Coyotes. Phoenix has dropped three of four overall versus the Sharks.
Although Phoenix hasn't fared well against the Sharks recently, the Coyotes are entering Saturday's matchup on a hot streak. Dave Tippett's club has won three straight and five of its past six games and is 8-1-2 over the past 11 trips to the ice.
The Coyotes fell behind visiting Nashville 3-0 in the first period on Thursday, but Phoenix rallied for the shootout win. Mikkel Boedker scored the lone goal of the shootout in the fifth round, lifting the Coyotes to a 5-4 decision over the Predators at Jobing.com Arena.
After the first eight shooters came up empty in the shootout, Boedker skated hard down the right side before lifting a backhander high over Carter Hutton. Thomas Greiss, who finished with 36 saves in the win, then stoned David Legwand's wrister to send the Coyotes to their second three-game winning streak of the season.
Shane Doan registered a goal and an assist, while Jordan Szwarz, Derek Morris and Antoine Vermette notched a goal apiece for the Coyotes, who won their 165th game under Tippett, tying him with Bob Francis for first place on the franchise's all-time coaching wins list.
"We know that we're capable of scoring when we're down and our play on the power play gives us confidence, but we never want to get down early," said Doan.
Phoenix is playing four of six on the road to begin November and is 3-3-1 as the away team this season compared to a stellar 6-0-1 mark in the desert.
Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal is eligible to return from a two-game suspension on Saturday. Hanzal, who is tied for the team lead with five goals, was disciplined by the league for a charging hit last Saturday against Edmonton's Jeff Petry.
11/02 11:03:51 ET